Mae has ban overturned

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Published: Friday 19th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Vanessa Mae has had her four-year ban from skiing lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but failed in her bid to have her last-placed finish at the 2014 Winter Olympics restored.

Mae, the classical violinist who competed for Thailand at the 2014 Winter Olympics under the name Vanessa Vanakorn, was found guilty by the International Skiing Federation last year of taking part in races which were fixed to help her qualify for the Sochi Games, but she appealed to CAS in December.

On Friday, the court cleared Mae of breaching the FIS Betting and other Anti-Corruption Violations Rules, but upheld the FIS’s decision to dismiss the result of the races in question, leaving her ineligible to compete in Sochi.

A statement said: ” In its decision, the CAS Panel accepted the position of the FIS that a number of irregularities had occurred in the organisation and management of the four races in question, but could not find, to its comfortable satisfaction, evidence of any manipulation by Vanessa Vanakorn herself that justified the guilty finding and the imposition of a four-year ban.

“Accordingly, the decision of the FIS Hearing Panel in relation to Ms Vanakorn is annulled and her four-year ban is lifted.”

The 36-year-old took part in the women’s giant-slalom in Sochi and finished last out of the 67 competitors.

FIS issued a statement in November saying that it had “found to its comfortable satisfaction” that the results of the four ladies giant slalom races in Krvavec, Slovenia were manipulated, especially in regard to the points awarded to Mae.

The FIS said the races were organised at the request of Mae’s management company and the Thailand Olympic Committee in order to enable her to meet the Sochi qualifying criteria.

The Slovenian Ski Association subsequently suspended five of its officials and announced an investigation into alleged improprieties regarding the results of the races concerned, with the FIS later issuing one-year bans to the officials involved.

The FIS said that the weather conditions were so bad that the races concerned would in usual circumstances have been cancelled and that without the points in question, Mae would not have been eligible to compete in Sochi.

Published: Friday 19th June 2015 by The News Editor

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