Sarah Lewis has confirmed she is seeking to replace Gian-Franco Kasper as FIS President ©Getty Images

Britain's Sarah Lewis has declared her candidacy for President of the International Ski Federation (FIS), less than six months after being dismissed as secretary general.

Lewis, whose 20-year tenure as secretary general ended when she was removed from the role in October, is the fourth official to have entered the race to succeed longstanding President Gian-Franco Kasper.

Lewis has been nominated for the top job by the Royal Belgian Ski Federation as her home National Association, GB Snowsport, put forward Swedish billionaire Johan Eliasch last year.

Swedish Olympic Committee President and FIS vice-president Mats Årjes and Urs Lehmann, a former men's world downhill champion, are also standing for President.

The election is due to take place remotely on June 4 after the FIS decided to hold its Congress virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lewis, who competed in Alpine skiing at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, has vowed to implement a COVID-19 recovery fund for National Associations and promised to renounce any Presidential salary if she is elected.

She has also pledged to introduce governance reforms and ensure athletes have a greater say in the decision-making process at the FIS in her manifesto, which she calls her "FIS Piste Map".

Sarah Lewis has today unveiled her manifesto and campaign website ©Sarah Lewis
Sarah Lewis has today unveiled her manifesto and campaign website ©Sarah Lewis

"We are entering a new era for FIS and global sport - an era that requires FIS to tackle its role in a changed, more inclusive and demanding society, and an era that FIS must embrace for growth, a healthy future for our sport, with our athletes at the centre," Lewis said.

"We have been presented with a unique opportunity - to elect a 21st century President, whose full focus is to work hand-in-hand with the National Associations and stakeholders, leading FIS on a strategic transformation to become a global movement for world skiing and snowboarding."

Lewis began working for the FIS in 1994 as a Continental Cups coordinator and took on the role of secretary general in 2000.

The British official was voted out of the position by the Council in October of last year and the FIS faced criticism for how it announced the news as the organisation only published a short statement confirming she was no longer the secretary general.

The FIS initially stated the decision was "based on a complete loss of confidence".

A later statement by the FIS removed any mention of a loss of confidence but did not offer any thanks or gratitude to Lewis for the work she had done.

Lewis was replaced by former Global Association of International Sports Federations director Philippe Gueisbuhler in December.

The setback has not deterred Lewis from seeking to become the first female to lead the FIS, however.

"I have devoted myself to our sport as an Olympian, to FIS and our community, and to the Olympic Movement as a participant, manager and a leader," she added.

"I am now making this journey for one reason - to work together to build a FIS that is fully representative of the global ski and snow sport community, and fully equipped to take us well into the second centennial of FIS, with a crystal clear plan, transparency and accountability. 

"Together I believe we can achieve much more."

Kasper had been due to stand down as FIS President after 22 years in charge in June but was granted an extension to his term after the FIS postponed its Congress to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.