Vanessa Mae is more than just a pretty face.
The 37-year-old is an Olympic Giant Slalom ski racer and world-famous violinist to boot. However, her status as a ski racer ended abruptly this past year when the International Ski Federation accused her of altering race results in Krvavec, Slovenia. The result of that alleged fixing– a four-year ban from FIS competition. However, the British citizen turned Thai Olympic representative was vehement in her denial of any alleged wrongdoing.
Mae was able to compete for her father’s native country of Thailand under his last name, Vanakorn.
In order to counter the FIS’ claim, she took her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Better known as CAS to athletes, the court denounced the claims and added that in no way did it appear that Mae had fixed results to qualify for the Sochi Olympics. What comes as a bigger surprise is the FIS’ decision to not appeal the ruling, which implies an admission of wrongdoing on their part.
“FIS has not appealed and fully respects the verdict of the CAS, including its finding that Ms Vanakorn and her entourage did not in any way fix, contrive or improperly influence the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the FIS-approved races held in Krvavec.”– FIS Statement
According to statement, the FIS has settled the defamation of character suit and consequently compensated Mae for any damages to her character as a result of their initial accusations. It is unclear how much Mae settled for but the FIS disclosed that it was an “appropriate” amount. Mae will donate the total to charity.
“FIS accepts that the statements made about Ms. Vanakorn’s conduct at the Krvavec races were unjustified and unreservedly withdraws them. In settlement of Ms. Vanakorn’s claim for damages for defamation, FIS has apologised and has made an appropriate payment to Ms. Vanakorn which she intends to pay to a charity of her choice.”– FIS Statement
Furthermore, Mae is eligible to compete in qualifying events for the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018.
Find the CAS decision here: Vanessa Mae Final Award