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Vanessa-Mae banned over ski 'fiddle'

Pop violinist Vanessa-Mae has been banned from competitive skiing for four years for taking part in races that were fixed to allow her to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The findings by the International Ski Federation (FIS) exposed as a sham what many fans thought was a feel-good story.

FIS also banned five race officials from Slovenia and Italy for between one and two years.

The federation said its hearing panel found the status of four women's giant slalom races were manipulated in January in Slovenia, a few weeks before the games.

FIS detailed several rule-breaking incidents that rigged results to help the then 35-year-old Vanessa-Mae (inset) falsely improve her racer status.

At the Sochi Games in February, Vanessa-Mae who was raised in Britain raced for Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn, using the last name of her Thai father. She finished last of 67 racers, more than 50 seconds behind gold medalist Tina Maze of Slovenia.