Vanessa-Mae banned from skiing for four years
12 November 2014, 14:44
The multi-million album selling violinist is barred after the results of her qualifying races for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are found to have been “manipulated”.
A panel for the International Ski Federation (FIS) ruled that without the manipulation of four ladies’ giant slalom races on 18 and 19 January, Vanessa-Mae "would not have achieved the necessary FIS point performance level to be eligible to participate in the Olympic Winter Games”.
The violinist represented Thailand at Sochi as Vanessa Vanakorn – using the surname of her Thai father. She came last of the 67 competitors in the two-run giant slalom.
Rigging of the qualifying race included inventing times for skiers who did not even take part.
Race officials also broke rules by not changing the course design between the first and second runs, and allowing skiers to continue in poor weather, requiring abandonment.
The FIS has also banned five race officials from Slovenia and Italy for between one and two years for their involvement in managing the result.
Vanessa-Mae has the chance to appeal the decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.