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Violinist Vanessa-Mae banned over fixed Olympic races

Vanessa-Mae has been banned from participating in any ski events worldwide for four years. Credit: PA

Violinist Vanessa-Mae has been banned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for four years for taking part in fixed races to qualify for the Winter Olympics.

A hearing panel looked into the qualifying results that saw Mae qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this year and ''found to its comfortable satisfaction'' that results of four giant slalom races were manipulated.

Mae, representing Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn, qualified weeks before the start of the Olympics in February after managing to reach the required standard during four races in Slovenia in January.

Violinist Vanessa-Mae performing on stage. Credit: PA

An official FIS statement read: " The Hearing Panel found to its comfortable satisfaction that the results of the four ladies giant slalom races that took place on 18th and 19th January 18 2014 at Krvavec (SLO) were manipulated."

The panel then issued the following sanction to Mae: "Vanessa Vanakorn (Mae), Athlete, four year ban from participation in any FIS sanctioned events worldwide."

Mae finished last at the Sochi games, in 67th place, almost a minute behind the winner.


Candidate cities for Winter Olympics 2022 announced

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially named the candidate cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Shortlisted cities are Norway's Oslo, China's Beijing and Kazakhstan's Almaty.

Oslo last hosted the Winter Olympics in 1952. The city has been shortlisted to host the games in 2022. Credit: PA

"The IOC is very happy to see three very different approaches with regard to the organisation of the games," IOC President Thomas Bach told a news conference.

"This gives the IOC a choice between three diverse bids, with different legacy plans, with different approaches, with different budgets."

The skyline seen from Almaty, Kazakhstan, shortlisted to host the 2022 winter Olympics 2022. Credit: PA

Sweden's Stockholm, Poland's Krakow and Ukraine's Lviv had also submitted bids to the IOC but all three later withdrew.

Beijing has never hosted the Winter Olympics but could do so in 2022. Credit: PA

Avalanche at Sochi Olympics resort kills two women

An avalanche swept down a slope at the Sochi ski resort where the 2014 Winter Olympics alpine events were held, killing two people.

A Paralympian skis down a slope at the Rosa Khutor resort during the Games. Credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Rescuers found the bodies of two women beneath the snow on a slope called Labyrinth at Rosa Khutor in the mountain resort which has only been open to the public for a day.

"Despite all efforts to revive them, they could not be saved," the resort said on its website.

Four others on the slope at the time were unhurt and experts are now trying to determine the cause of the avalanche.

Rosa Khutor, which is 25 miles from Sochi, hosted the alpine skiing, snowboarding and other events at the Games.

Team GB Sochi Olympics medal winners visit Number 10

Prime Minister David Cameron has met the Team GB medal winners from the 2014 Sochi Olympics during a reception at 10 Downing Street in London.

Team GB medal winners from the 2014 Sochi Olympics,. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron takes a look at Olympic Curling bronze medalist Claire Hamilton's medal. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire


Team GB athletes party on in Sochi

After two weeks of nerve-wracking competitions and months of rigorous training, Team GB athletes were in for a party during Sochi Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

Judging by their Twitter feeds, they enjoyed the spectacle and partied on after the official part of the ceremony ended.

Olympic flame goes out in Sochi as Games close

Olympic Committee chief declared the Sochi Games closed, officially ending the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sochi Olympic Games close Credit: Reuters

"I declare the 22nd Olympic Winter Games closed. In accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in Pyeongchang to celebrate with us the 23rd Olympic Winter Games," Thomas Bach said.

Sochi mascots bid farewell Credit: Reuters

Olympics: Russia hands over to South Korea

Sochi Mayor Anatoliy Pakhomov handed the Olympic flag to Pyeongchang Mayor Lee Sok-ra during the closing ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

South Korean city of Pyeongchang will host the Winter Olympics in 2018.

Sochi Mayor Anatoliy Pakhomov and Pyeongchang Mayor Lee Sok-ra Credit: Reuters

Sochi closing ceremony celebrates Russian culture

The best of Russia's culture was on display during the closing ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

A tribute to Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff Credit: Reuters

Russia's world-famous ballet played a key role during the spectacle, which also celebrated the country's most famous writers and poets, and paid tributes to the legendary Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Ballet dancers perform during the ceremony Credit: Reuters
Pictures of Russian writers and poets on the stage Credit: Reuters
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