Paris: Reigning world downhill champion Marion Rolland will miss defending her title in Vail, Colorado next month after injuring herself while falling in a World Cup race at Cortina d`Ampezzo on Monday.
The Frenchwoman, who was a surprise winner of the speed event at the Schladming championships two years ago, tore ligaments in her right knee in the fall.
The French ski federatiion said she would not be able to compete at Vail and there were fears that the injury might signal the end of her career.
She has already had three operations to her right knee the last of those coming in September, 2013 when she fell on a training run.
Since returning to World Cup competition she has struggled, with her best showing being a 25th place, but she had been assured of a place at the Vail world championships as a defending champion.