The former wife of Beatles star Paul McCartney has been accused of lunging at a Paralympic official in a fit of rage and screaming insults after being forced to abandon her attempt to qualify for the British ski team for next year’s games.
Heather Mills’s hopes of competing in Sochi ended this week when the International Paralympic Committee ruled that a new prosthetic she was using hadn’t been ratified by the governing body. An application for a place in Britain’s team was withdrawn.
IPC spokesman Craig Spence told The Associated Press that the 45-year-old Mills “flew into a rage” when she confronted ski committee head Sylvana Mestre at a team captains’ meeting in a hotel in Austria on Monday. She then swore at the official and said “you don’t know who I am, I’m going to make your life miserable.”
“Sylvana is deeply upset, traumatised,” Spence said. “She (Mills) verbally abused Sylvana, and started to push her. There were 10 witnesses in the room who saw what went on.”
Mills will likely be fined up to 1,000 ($A1,500) and the incident will be referred to the IPC’s legal and ethics committee for its consideration.
Mills has been one of the most high-profile athletes attempting to qualify for the Sochi Paralympics, having begun a career in skiing soon after she divorced McCartney in 2008.
She lost her left leg below the knee in 1993 when she was involved in a road accident with a police motorcycle.
Mills joined the British disability skiing team in 2010 and has shown marked improvement over the past two years, winning a silver medal in a World Cup adaptive slalom event in New Zealand in 2013.
The BBC reported Thursday that Mills’s coach, John Clarke, is planning to make a formal complaint about Mestre’s behaviour, claiming there is a “vendetta” against Mills.
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