BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s Olympic committee said it would be more careful about endorsing athletes Wednesday after former child prodigy violinist Vanessa Mae was banned from competitive skiing over her rigged entry into the Winter Olympics.
The 36-year-old music star became Thailand’s first ever female Olympic skier when she competed at the Sochi Games in Russia this year, coming 67th and last in the giant slalom.
But Mae, born in Singapore to Thai and Chinese parents, was Tuesday given a four-year ban from all International Skiing Federation (FIS) events over her “manipulated” qualification for the Games.
The FIS said that a hearing panel had established that Mae’s qualifying event, held in a blizzard in January in Slovenia, in southeastern Europe, was riddled with irregularities.
A senior member of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand (NOCT), who did not want to be named, told AFP that Mae and the kingdom would “have to accept and comply with the ban”.
“This could serve as a lesson for the NOCT to be more careful in its endorsements,” said the official of the body, which puts forward names to participate in the Games for the kingdom.