Other Sport

Vanessa Mae banned for 4 years

2014-11-11 15:06
Vanessa Mae (Getty Images)

Vienna - Glamorous violinist Vanessa Mae's dreams of becoming a professional skier took a major tumble Tuesday after she was banned for four years over her rigged qualification for the Thai team at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The International Skiing Federation (FIS) said that a hearing panel had established that the qualifying event, held in a blizzard in January 2014 in Slovenia in southeastern Europe, was riddled with irregularities.

The "manipulated" races on January 18-19 resulted in points calculations "that do not reflect the true performance of the competitors that participated ... and in particular the points awarded to Vanessa Vanakorn (Mae)," the FIS said.

Mae, 36, a former child prodigy with the violin born in Singapore to Thai and Chinese parents but who grew up in Britain, was given a four-year ban from participation in any FIS-sanctioned events worldwide.

Two giant slalom races in the Krvavec resort on January 19 were recorded as involving a competitor who was not present, while someone else who fell over was placed second after having 10 seconds taken off her time, the FIS said.

Other problems included at least one competitor who 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," the FIS said in a statement.

A previously retired competitor with the best FIS points in the competition took part for the sole purpose of lowering the penalty for the other participants, and the race courses were not changed for the second runs as stipulated by the FIS.

In addition, 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.

FIS banned Slovenia's Borut Hrobat, in charge of the race, for two years, while FIS technical delegate Fabio De Cassan of Italy, Slovenia's race timer Matiaz Goltez, referee Vlado Makuc and starter Uros Sinkovec were all banned for a year.

As Thailand's first ever female skier at an Olympic Games in the Russian resort of Sochi in February, Mae racing under her father's surname Vanakorn - made headlines and added a splash of glamour to the event.

But unlike her successful music career with millions of album sold, her performance on the piste as one half of the Thai team was underwhelming, coming 67th and last in the giant slalom, far behind the rest of the field. 

"I expected to be last but at the end of the day the Olympics is a great opportunity," she said at the time.

"I nearly crashed three times, but I made it down and that was the main thing."

Mae has described music as her "lifelong passion" but skiing as her "lifelong hobby".

The FIS said she has 21 days to appeal the decision.

Read more on:    skiing
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather v Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor ... who've you got in Saturday's mega fight?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.