Sochi 2014: Vanessa Mae's Olympic qualification allegedly 'rigged,' Slovenian ski body suspends four
The Slovenian Ski Association says that the musician's pre-Olympics results were "fixed" at the behest of Thai ski officials
Friday 11 July 2014
Four Slovenian officials have been suspended following allegations that they rigged the results to help world renowned violinist Vanessa-Mae qualify for the Winter Olympics.
Ms Mae competed in the women’s giant slalom at the Sochi Olympics coming last at 67. She raced as part of the Thai team using her father’s surname Vanakorn.
The Slovenian Ski Association (SSA) said today that it had found evidence indicating that a preliminary race that the country had hosted prior to the Games was “fixed at the behest of Thai ski officials to meet her qualifying criteria for Sochi,” according to AP.
President of the association, Jurij Zurej, reportedly said that the alleged irregularities included falsification of times and rankings.
Briton Ms Mae, 35, had to take part in games in Sweden, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland in January, in order to earn enough points to take her into the Games in February.
"The starting list included a person who did not even compete, a racer who fell was registered as finishing high in the standings," Mr Zurej said.
"In addition, the dates of the competitions did not match the actual state when the races were held."
The SSA said that it found breaches of International Ski Federation (FIS) rules, which it has passed to the country's public prosecutor.
Mr Zurej added: "We have discussed the findings and we have discovered that there were clear breaches of the FIS rules and the rules of the Slovenian Ski Association.
"Based on those findings, we have decided that the four persons responsible for that race will not be able to work in the name of the SSA for a period of four years, and we have sent a sample of the findings to the public prosecutor.
"We must state clearly that there is absolutely no proof any athlete including Vanessa was [knowingly] involved in any activities that would breach any of our rules or those of FIS."
Additional reporting by agencies
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