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Violinist Vanessa Mae to challenge four-year ski ban

Nov 14. 2014
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Munich (dpa) - Star violinist Vanessa Mae plans to challenge a ruling by the international ski federation FIS that banned her for four years over rigged Olympic qualifying races.

The sanctions were "nonsense," Mae said Thursday evening in a statement issued by her management team.

The case is in the hands of her attorneys, "and we will of course take it to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport," she said.

Mae competed in the giant slalom at the Sochi Winter Games for Thailand as Vanessa Vanankorn, finishing last of the 67 racers in an event won by Slovenia's Tina Maze.

AFIS hearing ruled Tuesday that four women's giant slalom competitions at Krvavec in Slovenia between January 17 and 19 were "manipulated."

The Krvavec competitions - organized at the request of the Mae's management through the Thai Olympic Committee - were the last opportunity for the 36-year-old prominent virtuoso to achieve the necessary FIS points to qualify for Sochi.

Under Olympic rules, countries with no skiers ranked among the world's top 500 may send one man and one woman to the Winter Olympics provided they garner enough FIS points over several races.

Vanessa, who has dual British-Thai nationality, chose to represent Thailand, competing under her Thai father's surname Vanakorn.

The FIS hearing panel "found to its comfortable satisfaction" that the results of the races at Krvavec "were manipulated, resulting in the calculation of FIS points that do not reflect the true performance of the competitors that participated in those events and in particular the points awarded to Vanessa Vanakorn (Mae)."


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