By Patrick Lang

BASEL, Switzerland, Nov 3 (Reuters) – American Lindsey Vonn will not be allowed to enter the men’s downhill competition at Lake Louise, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said on Saturday.

Vonn, the second most successful woman skier in the history of the sport, made headlines before the start of the season when she wrote to the FIS asking to be allowed into the men’s race in the Canadian resort on Nov. 24.

“One gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other… exceptions will not be made to the FIS Rules,” the governing body said at a meeting in Switzerland.

The news came as a disappointment to Alpine Canada president Max Gartner.

“I saw it as a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport by attracting interest from people who do not normally follow ski racing, particularly in North America,” he said in a statement.

The world and Olympic champion could still apply to ski down the piste as a forerunner, a skier who opens the course for the competitors, which would allow her to test herself against the men.

If she did this, however, she would not be allowed to participate in the women’s event in Lake Louise six days later.