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Vanessa Mae’s Winter Olympic Games Scandal – A Warning Shot to Sports Governing Bodies
When Vanessa Mae narrowly qualified to ski in the giant slalom at the XXII Olympic Winter Games, Sochi 2014, she described skiing at the Olympics as her “dream”. That dream has rapidly turned into a nightmare, with Mae facing a four year ban from any event sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and public disgrace for the alleged manipulation of four giant slalom races in Slovenia which allowed her to meet the requisite qualifying standard.
How did it all go wrong? This blog addresses three areas: her ability to qualify, her alleged wrongdoing and the level of sanction and, finally, a look at the lessons which can be learned from an affair which exposed the tension between maintaining Olympic competition as the pinnacle of sporting endeavour and extending participation to under-represented nations.