Violinist Vanessa Mae banned from competitive skiing in results-fixing scandal

What was once a feel-good celebrity-turned-athlete story has turned sour.

Jonathan Lim| November 12, 01:34 PM

Singapore-born violinist turned competitive skier Vanessa Mae has been banned from competitive skiing for four years by the International Ski Federation (FIS).

vanessa mae 2Source

This happened after a FIS panel hearing “found to its comfortable satisfaction that the results of the four ladies’ giant slalom races that took place on 18 and 19 January at Krvavec were manipulated”.

FIS said that Mae would not have earned the necessary points needed to ski in the Winter Games without cheating.

The scam involved inflating the quality of four qualifying races to boost Mae's standing. Race-rigging included fabricating times for skiers who did not race and altering times for lower-quality skiers who did finish.

The four-year ban would prevent her from competing in the Seoul Winter Olympics in 2018. FIS also banned five officials from Slovenia and Italy involved in the scandal for between one and two years.

The 36-year-old British violinist competed for Thailand, the country of her father’s birth and under the name Vanessa Vanakorn, at the Winter Games in Sochi earlier this year. She finished in last place out of 67 competitors.


Mae at the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (Source)


Mae is best known for her riveting violin performances. Here's a video of her performing Toccata & Fugue accompanied by the Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra:

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Top photo from Winter Games

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