Violinist Mae paid defamation damages by FIS

Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:19am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Pop violinist Vanessa Mae has been awarded damages by the International Ski Federation (FIS) after it wrongly accused her of manipulating race results in order to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Mae, initially handed a four-year ban by the sport's governing body, took her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which cleared her of fixing races.

In a statement on Wednesday, FIS said it had settled a claim for defamation by British citizen Mae, who competed under her father's name Vanakorn for his native Thailand in Sochi, finishing 67th and last in the giant slalom.

FIS claimed Mae had manipulated results from a race in Slovenia in January 2014 to qualify for Sochi.

"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," a statement said.

"FIS accepts that the statements made about Ms Vanakorn's conduct at the Krvavec races were unjustified and unreservedly withdraws them."

It was not stated how much Mae had received but FIS said an 'appropriate' payment had been made which the violinist intended to pay to a charity of her choice.

Mae, whose Sochi result has been reinstated after being annulled by the International Olympic Committee, is eligible to qualify for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris)

Vanessa Mae, competing for Thailand under her father's name Vanessa Vanakorn, reacts in the finish area after competing in the first run of the women's alpine skiing giant slalom event during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach