Sailing-Ainslie avoids further punishment for boat fracas

LONDON Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:10pm EST

LONDON Feb 10 (Reuters) - Triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie was given the green light on Friday to compete at the 2012 London Games when he escaped further punishment for confronting a TV crew at the world championships last year.

The five-times world Finn champion was disqualified from the Perth competition for "gross misconduct" in December after boarding a media boat and remonstrating with the crew for impeding his progress.

Ainslie was quoted by British media as saying he feared the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) might impose a further penalty that could thwart his Olympic hopes.

British sailing's governing body decided, however, that the original sanction was sufficient.

"It would not be appropriate for the tribunal to impose a penalty over and above that imposed by the international jury at the event," the RYA said in a statement.

Ainslie, 35, has won two Olympic Finn golds and one in the Laser Dinghy. (Reporting by Toby Davis, editing by Tony Jimenez)