Boevski celebrating his gold medal in Sydney, a title he would not be allowed to defend four years later in Athens because of a doping suspension.
Gulubin Boevski, who won a weightlifting gold medal for Bulgaria at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, was sentenced to nine years and four months in jail after being found guilty of attempted drug trafficking, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported on May 3.
Boevski has been under arrest in Brazil since October, when he was arrested at Sao Paulo's Guarulhos international airport with nine kg of cocaine in his luggage.
The sentence can be appealed within a 14-day period and Boevski's lawyers planned to do so.
Boevski's Bulgarian counsel, Ivailo Dermendjiev, as quoted by website mediapool.bg, said he was surprised by the severity of the sentence, given that in a recent case, another Bulgarian national caught with 12kg of cocaine was sentenced to only five years in jail. Leandro Pereira, Boevski's Brazilian lawyer, was quoted in the same report as saying that the longer sentence was not surprising, given the zero-tolerance track record of the presiding judge.
Boevski was visiting Brazil along with his daughter for a junior tennis tournament that she participated in – she later returned to Bulgaria after her father's arrest and did not face any accessory charges.
Boevski has maintained his innocence throughout, saying that he bought his suitcases in Brazil the day before the flight and did not know that they contained any drugs.
He won two world and three European championships for Bulgaria, in addition to his Olympic title, but had to end his career prematurely in 2004 after losing several appeals against an eight-year suspension from the sport, levied after he was caught attempting to tamper with pre-competition doping tests in 2003, right before the world championships in Vancouver, where he was a heavy favourite in his weight category.
Boevski had also served a two-year suspension between 1996 and 1998 after being caught and confessing to the use of anabolic steroids. However, he was one of the few Bulgarian weightlifters not caught in the doping row that resulted in the ejection of the Bulgarian weightlifting team from Sydney's Olympic Village following three positive doping results.
Killing spree in Norway in July 2011 and the arrests of individuals in a number of EU member states for the preparation of terrorist attacks, are proof of the continuing need for vigilance, Europol says.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, said the members of the IMF have made commitments to provide as much as $430 billion for loans to help members through economic difficulties.
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