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Violinist Vanessa-Mae Banned From Skiing For Four Years

The International Ski Federation found that results were manipulated in her qualification for the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Posted on November 11, 2014, at 9:26 a.m. ET

Violinist-turned-skier Vanessa-Mae was banned Tuesday from the sport for four years after the International Ski Federation found "violations" in her qualifications for the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Violinist Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn, representing Thailand, practices at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Mike Segar / Reuters

Violinist Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn, representing Thailand, practices at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Singapore-born British citizen competed for Thailand — her father's country — in Sochi under the name Vanessa Vanakorn.

The FIS's hearing panel said that the violations stemmed from her results at an event in Slovenia.

Vanessa-Mae qualified for the Games just days before the deadline, after competing in a series of hastily-staged qualifying races.

The competitions in Slovenia were staged at the request of Vanessa-Mae's management, through Thailand's Olympic committee, the BBC reported.

In a statement, the FIS said: "The Hearing Panel found to its comfortable satisfaction that the results of the four ladies giant slalom races that took place ... 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."

In a statement, the FIS detailed their hearing panel's findings:

The results of two giant slalom races on 19th January included a competitor who was not present at, and did not participate in the Krvavec Competitions.

Another competitor was placed 2nd in one race despite the fact she fell. Her time is understood to have been adjusted afterwards by more than 10 seconds.

At least one competitor started away from the starting gate outside the automatic timing wand that was manually opened by the starter when she was already on the course.

A previously retired competitor with the best FIS points in the competition took part for the sole purpose of lowering the penalty to the benefit the participants in the races.

The weather conditions were so bad that no regular race could be held and "any comparable competition in Slovenia would have been cancelled" according to the competition referee.

The races courses were not changed for the second runs as is required by the FIS rules.

Approximately 23 competitors participated in the two races held on 18th January 2014, however at least two competitors on the official results were not in attendance.

Only eight competitors were on the start list for the two races on January 19th 2014 and only six achieved a result.

Five officials — the Chief of Race, FIS Technical Delegate, Chief of Timing , Referee and Starter — have also been banned by the FIS for between one and two years.

Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

Mae shot to fame as a musician as a teenager, releasing her debut album 'Violin' at the age on 13. She has since amassed global record sales exceeding 10 million.

She has been skiing since the age of four, and said it had been her ambition to compete in the Olympics for over twenty years, the BBC reported.

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