Brazil look to hire convicted drug trafficker as weightlifting coach for Rio 2016

Tuesday, 08 January 2013
By Lauren Mattera

Galabin Boevski of BulgariaJanuary 8 - Sydney 2000 weightlifting gold medallist Galabin Boevski, given an eight year doping ban in 2004 and who is currently serving a nine year prison sentence for international drug trafficking, could be the new Brazilian weightlifting coach ahead of Rio 2016, it has emerged.

The Brazilian Weightlifting Federation are planning hire the Olympic and world champion as their national coach despite his criminal conviction.

The 36-year-old Bulgarian, who last year finished his eight year doping ban for failing his second drug test at Athens 2004, was caught in 2011 trying to board a plane from Sao Paulo to Europe with nine kilos of the class-A drug cocaine.

If appointed to the role, Boevski would start working as the national weightlifting coach from prison and will in effect have his sentenced reduced.

For the 2016 Olympic hosts, weightlifting is not a traditional field and therefore they hope to capitalise on the Bulgarian's experience and decorative career which includes winning -61 kg gold medals in the World Weightlifting Championships in 1999 and 2001, golds in the 1999, 2002 and 2003 European Championships along with his 2000 Olympic gold.

It has been claimed that the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is willing to support the move as Brazil try to improve their squad following a disappointing London 2012 Games where their only competitors, +105 kg player Fernando Saraiva Reis and Jacqueline Ferreira of the women's 75kg category, failed to qualify pass the group stages.

Galabin Boevski of Bulgaria Sydney 2000 gold medallistOlympic gold medallist Galabin Boevski of Bulgaria was convicted of international drug trafficking in 2011

Boevski, who has been detained in Brazil since late 2011, has frequently claimed innocence in his media appearances and furthermore had an appeal against his verdict rejected by the Federal Courts last October.

His wife, Krassimira Boevski, has also previously released a statement accusing the federal court of ignoring evidence presented by his defence.

"I hope that at the second-instance court, I will manage to prove my innocence", he said in his declaration.

Therefore, the proposal for Boevski to join the Brazilian team has also undoubtedly received much support from his defence team.

The Brazilian Federation is to officially voice its proposal once a decision is finally announced on his sentence, which is due to be by the middle of this year.

Contact the writer of this story at lauren.mattera@insidethegames.biz
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