Brazil Eyes Bulgarian Jailed Champ for Weightlifting Coach - Report
Brazil's weightlifting federation plans to hire Bulgaria's former Olympic weightlifting champion Galabin Boevski as coach or consultant even though he is convicted and jailed, according to reports.
The federation will officially voice its proposal after a Brazilian court rules conclusively on his sentence of nine years and four months in jail, which is expected to happen by the middle of the year, 24 Hours daily reported.
After striking the deal, Boevski will start working in the jail.
The international weightlifting federation was reportedly willing to support Brazil's move as the country is trying to improve its performance ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio.
The hosts, who will receive 10 quotas in weightlifting, have no traditions in this field and hope to capitalize on the Bulgarian's rich experience and Olympic victory at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Boevski's appointment by Brazil's weightlifting federation will reduce his sentence.
The Regional Federal Court of Sao Paulo rejected at the end of October the appeal against the verdict lodged by Galabin Boevski, who was convicted last year of international drug trafficking.
Boevski has fervently claimed innocence in his rare media appearances. In a statement, circulated to the media by his wife Krassimira in June, he vehemently denied to have been involved with anyone during his trip to Brazil and accused the federal court in Sao Paulo of ignoring evidence presented by his defence.
Galabin Boevski was convicted of international drug trafficking and sentenced to nine years, four months in prison by a federal court in Sao Paulo at the beginning of May.
He was detained at the end of October in Brazil and accused of carrying 7,2 kilos of cocaine in his luggage.
The first hearing in the trial was held on March 6.
The defense was determined to press for Boevski's extradition and eventual trial in Bulgaria, citing the International Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which the two countries have signed and which has supremacy over state laws.
The lawyer's statement clashed with the opinion of Bulgarian high-ranking officials, who have ruled out the extradition of Galabin Boevski to his home country, saying there is no prisoner transfer agreement between Bulgaria and Brazil.
The 36-year-old Boevski won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 152-pound category. He was banned for eight years by the International Weightlifting Federation for doping in 2004.