Alpine skiing: Vanessa Mae wins defamation damages from ski federation

A file photo shows Vanessa Mae after competing in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Russia.
A file photo shows Vanessa Mae after competing in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Russia.PHOTO: EPA

PARIS (AFP) - Renowned violinist Vanessa Mae has received defamation damages and an apology from the International Ski Federation (FIS) after she was accused of manipulating results to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Mae was banned from ski competitions for four years after the FIS claimed she took part in fixed races to qualify for the Sochi Games, but the punishment was overturned in June by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In a statement, the FIS accepted "that the statements made about Vanakorn's conduct (at qualifying races in Slovenia) were unjustified and unreservedly withdraws them".

It added that an "appropriate payment" had been made to the musician which she intends to donate to charity.

Mae, competing under her family name of Vanessa Vanakorn, came 67th and last in the women's giant slalom at the Olympics.

The 37-year-old music star, who has sold millions of albums, became Thailand's first ever female Olympic skier when she competed in Russia.

But Mae, born in Singapore to Thai and Chinese parents, was suspended by FIS in November 2014 after the body had established that her qualifying event, held in a blizzard in January 2014 in Slovenia was riddled with irregularities.

The FIS said that the "manipulated" races on Jan 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".

Five officials were banned in the aftermath, but the FIS admitted that Mae and her entourage "did not in any way fix, contrive or improperly influence the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect" of the races in Krvavec.