Thursday, July 26, 2007

Say it ain't so Valery…

From: Moscow Times, Sporting News and UK Guardian
Valery Shantalosov, former Belarus goalkeeper has been charged with having offered bribes to his teammates to lose the final two games of the Euro 2004 qualifying tournament
Will the defaming of sports heroes never come to an end?

At the same moment that Major League Baseball tries to come to grips with whether or not Barry Bonds, who is at the moment on the verge of breaking the all-time home run record, used steroids during his monumental late-carreer power surge, a big sports scandal has appeared in the news out here in the beautiful and interesting Republic of Belarus. Authorities in Minsk have charged former Belarus goalkeeper Valery Shantalosov, with having offered bribes to his teammates to lose the final two games of the Euro 2004 qualifying tournament. The games in question were against Czech Republic and Moldova in September 2003. At the time, Belarus was already out of contention having lost five of its first six games of the tournament. Belarus lost 3-1 at home to the Czech Republic and 2-1 at Moldova four days later. Shantalosov did not play in either game.

The main thrust of the accusation focuses on taped phone conversations between Shantalosov and an unnamed Russian gambler from before and after the games.

According to Minsk police investigative head Gennady Kazakevich, the gambler offered tens of thousands of dollars to the longtime goalkeeper to persuade his teammates to under-perform during the matches so as to insure that the goal differential would be favorable to the gamblers interest. The Belarusian players, already out of the running for a birth in the next round, are said to have agreed because they had nothing really to play for.

Kazakevich said investigators suspect that Shantalosov was working with a "famous Russian sports journalist," whom Kazakevich did not name.

Shantalosov, currently working as a trainer with Russian second-division team Sibir, has denied the accusations.

"This is a provocation," Shantalosov told Belarus' Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. "If there were facts against me then they wouldn't have let me travel or work. ... I am prepared to explain everything to the president of the country and the head of the football federation of Belarus."

"I'm not even aware the police are looking for me," Shantolosov was quoted as saying by Belarussian Web site Football.By. "I'm not hiding, I've been back home many times and everyone knows where I work."

Shantalosov has been charged in Belarus with match-fixing and if convicted, could face up to three years in prison. Belarus has not as of yet submitted a formal extradition request to Russia, as a Belarussian judge must first rule that there is sufficient evidence for such a request. After that, all case materials would then have to be examined by the Russian General Prosecutor's Office.

Shantalosov was the first ever goalkeeper for an independent Belarus, making his debut in 1992 following the break-up of the Soviet Union. During his career he made 24 international appearances for Belarus and played for several top flight clubs in Belarus, Russia, Latvia and Kazakhstan. He was also voted the best goalkeeper in Belarus in both 2001 and 2002. Shantalosov spent most of his career playing in the Russian Premier League and is generally considered the best-ever shot stopper to come out of Belarus. He conceded just 143 goals in his 362-game career. He quit the field in 2005 and became a coach.

A spokesman for UEFA, European football's governing body, said the organization would investigate the match-fixing claims. Last January the Polish government detained 70 referees, owners and club officials for bribery and match fixing, citing games played during this same period of time.

More soon...


Anonymous PolUs said...

Hey Adam, did you finally receive my email?

Friday, July 27, 2007  
Blogger BEING HAD said...

No, I didn't Steve. I went through both the regular and the bulk mail for both addresses and never found it. I don't understand this. I get e-mails from Mary Ellen all the time, no problem. I don't know why you are sp lucky. I do want to talk to you though. How about just posting your e-mail here and I will erase it after I find it?

Friday, July 27, 2007  
Anonymous PolUs said...

Sure, it's stevenrix8 at hotmail dotcom. I sent you 4 emails under different accounts but it seems like you never got them :(


Saturday, July 28, 2007  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Hi Adam

I was walking past the tv this morning and some guy was talking about the Barry Bonds situation and he said that he doesn't blame Barry, but he blames the industry. That's bs ,IMO-if someone is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, using the excuse of "everyone else is doing it" is garbage. Barry Bonds doesn't deserve squat and he should have been drummed out of the league. There a plenty of guys in the wings who would be happy to take his place or anyone else's place and do it without steroids.

Monday, July 30, 2007  
Blogger BEING HAD said...

You know ME, I have been wanting to write about Barry Bonds for a long time. I think the man is one of the greatest ball players ever to pay the game. You can talk about character and whether or not he cheated, but I say what he did as not like gambling, which is a cardinal sin in baseball. Pitchers have been throwing spitballs since Abner Doubleday told them where to throw the ball. They cork their bats, they put pine tar on the handles; they carry juicers on the road, lift weights in the off season, study films, break down every last second of every day statistically and they pay these guys millions and millions and millions of dollars. I say there is nothing "real" about professional baseball or professional sports in general and has not been for a long time. The money was choking the game to death, the wiped out parts of several seasons with strikes, and when they wanted the fans back, they had McGuire and Sosa chasing the HR record and the fans loved it. But you know what? McGuire was not elected to the hall this year because of allegations that he was on the needle and Sosa, well, he corked his bat. Both of these guys have had their "image" tainted.

Well, this is what I have to say. Do you like watching baseball? Well, they cheat, they lie, they gamble, they take drugs, they cheat on their wives, they commit various crimes and misdemeanors and sometimes even fly their airplanes into Manhattan apartment buildings. But I didn't ask you if you admired them, I asked if you like baseball. To me, and I mean this, if there was no cheating, you would not need umpires.

Barry Bonds has the skills and the talent and the heart. He has been doing the job for 23 seasons and has won the MVPO seven times. No one else is even close to who the man is as a ball player. They even walked him intentionally with the bases loaded one time, one of only three times this has ever happened.

I don't want Barry talking to me; I want him in the batters box with the lumber in his hands trying to win pennants, something he helped two teams do as well in his career. I think we need to shut the hell up about what a crappy guy he is and say thank you very much for giving us one of the most entertaining and spectacular athletes the world has ever known to look at. I think we simply ought to agree with Barry: Yes buddy, you were the best.

Monday, July 30, 2007  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I hate Barry and think he should have been kicked out of baseball. Saying that "everyone else does it" is no excuse and it isn't true. There are a lot of ball players out there who don't or never did steroids. He lied about it and doesn't deserve the hall of fame nor does he deserve to be recognized in any way, shape or form as a great athlete...he is simply a man who had to cheat to get where he is today.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007  

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