Ski officials ‘smitten’ by Vanessa Mae

6th July 2015, by Abi Butcher

Violinist Vanessa Mae finished last in the giant slalom in the Sochi Winter Olympics

Violinist Vanessa Mae finished last in the giant slalom in the Sochi Winter Olympics

Ski officials in Slovenia may have been “smitten” by the celebrity status of violinist Vanessa Mae, leading them to succumb to peer pressure and subsequent irregularities in her qualification for the Sochi Winter Olympics. So claims the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which last week published full details of its findings into a case that reads like the script of a film.

Last November, Vanessa Mae appealed to CAS after being banned from skiing for four years by the International Ski Federation (FIS), which also disqualified the world-famous violinist from Sochi — where she finished last out of 67 racers in the giant slalom.

The FIS ruled that results of Mae’s last-minute qualifying race in Slovenia were rigged — so blatantly that times were invented for skiers who didn’t race and another skier being placed second despite the fact that she fell.

But last month, CAS ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Mae knew about the race-fixing that lead to her false qualification for the 2014 Sochi Games. It lifted her ban from competing, which frees Mae to qualify for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics should she so wish — but her appeal against disqualification from Sochi was dismissed.

Vanessa Mae, a British citizen, competed for Thailand in the Sochi Winter Olympics giant slalom, using her father’s last name of Vanakorn.



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