Here is another excerpt from the book “The white prisoner – The secret story of Galabin Boevski”. Read part 1 and part 3 if you haven’t already.
This one takes place before the 1995 World Championships, when Galabin finds out his tests came back positive.
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Update: The book is now available
Yanko Rusev already knows Galabin will be included in the squad for the 1995 World Championships in China.
Bulgaria has two athletes at 70 kg – Plamen Zhelyaskov and Radostin Dimitrov. The other great star – Yoto Yotov will lift for the first time at 76 kg. He has the unique achievement of being first or second in every competition he has participated in. The young Zlatan Vanev is also in his category.
The competition is fierce, because these championships will decide the Olympic quota.
There are nearly forty athletes in a couple of categories. The biggest stars in weightlifting are ready for great battles, led by the Turks Naim Suleymanoglu and Halil Mutlu, the Greeks Leonidas Sabanis and Pyrros Dimas, and the Cuban Pablo Lara.
The strong weightlifters from the former Soviet Union are aiming for medals in every category, and the Chinese, breaking record after record, are achieving the next phenomenal results.
Hristo Boev is going up the stairs in the Sports Ministry. The Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation’s office is there. The CEO Norair Nurikyan had invited him. He added nothing more. Boev senses there is something wrong the moment he steps into the office.
“I have bad news,” the legendary weightlifter, who has two Olympic titles to his name, begins. “Galabin has been caught.”
“Hey, don’t mess around! How was he caught three days before the World Championships?” The coach clenches his fists.
“This is the document in English, the sample was opened,” Nurikyan gives him a piece of paper with a shaking hand.
“Where is the document for the first one?” Hristo Boev asks. “Look, I may be a countryman, but I’m not stupid.”
Nurikyan bows his head and remains silent.
Years later he admitted, that at this moment he felt as if Hristo Boev would throw him out of the fourth floor window.
“Hey, what the hell happened?” Hristo Boev had barged into the gym of the sports complex “Dianabad”, where the national team was located and shouted at the coach Yanko Rusev.
“Everything is fine, Hristo. How are you? We will destroy the Turk this year. Galabin lifted 152.5 kg and 182.5 kg,” Rusev says proudly with his everlasting smile. [Note: Naim lifted 147.5 + 180 in the compeition]
“How the hell are we going to defeat him, you fool? Galabin has been caught!” Hristo Boev erupts again.
“What do you mean caught?” The national team’s coach honestly replies.
The noisiest place in the whole town was Knezha’s newspaper stand [Knezha is Galabin’s home town]. Several people had gathered, reading the headlines.
The salesman could not get them to leave. Everyone shut up, when Stella Boevska [Galabin’s mother] approached. They made way with compassionate looks in their eyes.
She looks at the first page – “Weightlifters caught with doping before the World Championships.” Her eyes focus on the article. She begins to read slowly. Her hope evaporates. The last name is Galabin’s.
“Lizard [Stefan „The Lizard” Georgiev], I am a convenient victim,” Galabin shakes his head while relating what had happened. They were having coffee.
“I swear to you, I haven’t taken a thing. They must have switched my sample. They caught someone else. Someone who wasn’t supposed to go up in flames. They tricked me again.”
“You are convenient, as you and your uncle are like lone wolves,” answers Stefan Georgiev. “You have no backing. You know if these things don’t happen with money, they certainly do happen with a lot of money. The European Championships are one thing, the World Championships are totally different. Furthermore, it is the qualification for the Olympics in Atlanta next year.”
“Everything is clear now. They wanted to get it out of the way. I could have beaten Suleymanoglu, but who am I – some peasant from Knezha. Now Abadjiev is in Turkey. He must have had information on how much I can lift. They found out my results, and it was decided.”
“You are quite right, coaches are saying the Olympic Committee is deciding on which sports to leave and which to cut.
They are setting Suleymanoglu up to be the first three times Olympic champion in weightlifting. And you, who don’t have a single tournament in seniors abroad, are trying to defeat him. Where are you coming from? Without a single competition abroad, you dare to challenge him! What were you thinking of?”
Next in the Series: How Galabin gave in to trying new doping agents from Abadjiev.