By Dr Thilo Pachmann, Attorney, Pachmann Attorneys, Zurich, Switzerland
In a decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has just been published, the world famous violin player, Vanessa-Mae, and skier, who was represented by the author of this post, was cleared of having rigged four low-level ski races in Slovenia and the four-year ban, which was imposed on her by the International Ski Federation (FIS), was lifted.
Vanessa-Mae was accused by the FIS of having qualified for the Sotchi Winter Olympic Games in 2014 only due to the organisation and manipulation of four ski races in Slovenia (amongst them, the Thai National Junior Championships). For this reason, the FIS sentenced Vanessa-Mae, as the “mastermind” behind the manipulation of the races, to a ban of four years from any ski races.
Vanessa-Mae appealed against the FIS ruling to the CAS, which has now held that she was in no way, either directly or indirectly, involved in the manipulation of the ski races. The CAS went on to state that “if anything has to be blamed in the case at hand, it is rather the system put in place by FIS to organise competitions and not Vanessa-Mae for having ‘used’ it for her own benefit.”
As a result of this exoneration by the CAS, Vanessa-Mae now has the possibility to qualify for the next Winter Olympic Games in 2018, which will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and improve her result from Sotchi, where she finished the race more than 50 seconds behind the winner, Tina Maze, in last place.
For more information on the CAS Award, log onto: