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Vanessa-Mae’s Sochi result reinstated, eyes 2018 Olympics, reports say

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Violinist Vanessa-Mae‘s last-place result from the Sochi 2014 Olympic slalom was reinstated, and she may try to compete in a second Olympics in 2018, according to British reports.

Vanessa-Mae, who skied in Sochi for Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn, was banned four years by the International Ski Federation on Nov. 11, 2014, for taking part in “manipulated” races that got her into the Winter Games.

That ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in June, when the court said it “could not find, to its comfortable satisfaction, evidence of any manipulation by Vanessa Vanakorn herself that justified the guilty finding and the imposition of a four-year ban.”

But, in June, her 67th-place finish from the Sochi Olympic slalom was not reinstated.

Now, Vanessa-Mae is again an Olympian after the International Olympic Committee reinstated her result, according to the Daily Mail and the BBC, with the BBC reporting she plans to return to ski competition in March and wants to compete in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics.

Vanessa-Mae sold in excess of 10 million albums since her 1995 debut, according to the Guardian. She began playing violin at age 5 and was a child prodigy, one year after she started skiing.

VIDEO: Skier carries gate for half his downhill run, finishes fourth

Vanessa-Mae’s four-year skiing ban overturned

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Violinist Vanessa-Mae‘s four-year skiing ban for taking part in rigged qualifying races to reach the Sochi Olympics was overturned Friday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which upheld her ineligibility to compete in the 2014 Winter Games.

Vanessa-Mae, who skied in Sochi for Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn, was banned four years by the FIS on Nov. 11 for taking part in “manipulated” races that got her into the Winter Games. More details on the manipulated races here.

In the ruling, the court said it “could not find, to its comfortable satisfaction, evidence of any manipulation by Vanessa Vanakorn herself that justified the guilty finding and the imposition of a four-year ban.”

In Sochi, she was last among 67 finishers in the Olympic giant slalom, 11.35 seconds behind the 66th-place finisher and 50.1 seconds behind winner Tina Maze.

Vanessa-Mae, 36, called the ban “nonsense” in November and said she would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Vanessa-Mae sold in excess of 10 million albums since her 1995 debut, according to the Guardian. She began playing violin at age 5 and was a child prodigy, one year after she started skiing.

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Badminton star Lee Chong Wei receives backdated doping ban

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Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei can return to badminton competition Friday after receiving a backdated eight-month ban for failing a drug test Aug. 30.

“The panel is convinced this is not a case of doping with intent to cheat,” a World Badminton Federation doping panel said in a press release.

Lee captured Olympic silver medals in 2008 and 2012 and was the world’s top-ranked player when news broke in November that he failed a drug test.

Lee tested positive at the 2014 World Championships, where he won silver, for the banned substance dexamethasone, which is not performance-enhancing.

The World Badminton Federation said the dexamethasone’s source was a contaminated casing of a gelatin capsule containing a food supplement.

The doping panel said Lee had been negligent, but it was a rather light offense.

He was stripped of his 2014 World Championships silver medal.

“These few months have been tough for me,” Lee said, according to The Associated Press. “Maybe life is like that, up and down. It will make me mentally stronger for future competitions.”

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