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Maze appearance in Maribor secured, sponsors eliminated from equation

Ljubljana, 22 December - Tina Maze and the Slovenian Skiing Federation (SZS) have resolved their sponsor logos row by agreeing the skiing star would deliver her farewell appearance at the World Cup meet Maribor on 7 January in a plain jersey that will not contain any of Maze's nor of the SZS sponsors.

Ljubljana
Slovenia's best alpine skier Tina Maze.
Photo: An┼że Malovrh

The 33-year-old two-time Olympic champion was considering cancelling the symbolic final appearance in front of the home crowd after finding herself in a bitter and much publicised dispute with the federation over the financial framework of her appearance.

Maze, who parted ways with the national team 2008 to pursue her career on her own and rise to stardom, clashed with the SZS last week over her partner and coach's wish that she be compensated for skiing her final race in a jersey carrying the sponsors of the national team as opposed to her own.

The SZS went public with Andrea Massi's alleged proposal she receive EUR 90,000, but Massi denied Maze's appearance in the national jersey, coming after she quit skiing in March 2015, had ever been made conditional on this.

While he also claimed the figures used by the federation were misleading, the SZS insisted Maze needed to meet conditions applying to other team members if she wanted to be registered for the giant slalom.

Accusations continued to be exchanged and an agreement seemed increasingly improbable, but the lawyers of the two sides presented today a solution that will have Maze bid farewell in a plain jersey.

The only thing remaining open now is the starting number Maze will get for the race. Even though she has not been part of the circuit for some time, she has expressed the wish to get a favourable number as a former world class giant slalomist.

Maze made her World Cup debut in Maribor in 1999 at the age of 15 and she also clinched her first podium finish there with a second place in 2002.

Slovenia's best skier of all time boasts 26 World Cup victories, 81 podium results, four World Champion titles and two Olympic gold medals. She also set a world record in 2012/2013 by winning 2,414 points in a single World Cup season.

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© STA, 2016