Pop star Vanessa-Mae banned from competitive skiing

Pop star Vanessa-Mae has been banned for four years from international skiing.
(Michael Kappeler / EPA)

It seems that pop violinist Vanessa-Mae won’t be moonlighting as an elite skier for a while.

The popular Thai musician has been banned from competition for four years after officials confirmed that she raced in a series of events rigged to help her qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“The results of the four ladies giant slalom races that took place on 18th and 19th January 2014 at Krvavec [Slovenia] were manipulated,” the international ski federation announced on Tuesday.

As a musician, Vanessa-Mae has parlayed her self-described blend of classical, pop and jazz violin into millions in record sales. As a skier competing under her father’s last name -- Vanakorn -- she finished more than 11 seconds behind the rest of the field in the giant slalom at Sochi.


Vanakorn qualified for the Games at the last moment, earning the necessary points in races that officials say were organized through her management and Thai Olympic officials. The races involved numerous rules violations.

Times were doctored. Final results included skiers who were not present. The giant slalom course was not changed for the second run, as mandated by international rules.

Several race officials who worked at the events also received bans. The ski federation said it has forwarded its report to the International Olympic Committee.

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