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Ski federation makes payment to Vanessa-Mae in damages claim

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - The International Ski Federation (FIS) has apologized and made a payment to star violinist Vanessa-Mae over claims that she had qualified for the Sochi Olympics at rigged races.

It follows a ruling in June by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in June that there was not enough evidence to show Vanessa-Mae was involved in rigging Olympic qualifying races in Slovenia.

FIS said Tuesday that to settle a defamation claim for damages it had apologized and made "an appropriate payment" which the violinist intends to pay to charity.

Vanessa-Mae took part in alpine skiing‘s giant slalom for Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Vanakorn appealed to CAS after a four-year ban from FIS, which had claimed that four women‘s giant slalom competitions at Krvavec in Slovenia between January 17 and 19, 2014 were "manipulated."

FIS said Tuesday it respects the CAS verdict "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" in Krvavec.

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

In Sochi, Vanessa-Mae finished last of the 67 racers in the giant slalom won by Slovenia‘s Tina Maze.

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