US ski coach gets 4 months for money laundering
VIENNA -- The head coach of the U.S. Alpine speed team, Andreas Evers, was fired by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association on Thursday, hours after the Austrian was sentenced to four months in prison plus 20 months on probation for money laundering.
"Core values, including integrity, are a cultural mainstay of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the standard that we expect of our athletes, staff, coaches and volunteers," association president and CEO Tiger Shaw said.
The team said it had no immediate plans on replacing Evers, who was hired two years ago.
Under Evers, the U.S speed team won three medals at major championships -- all in super-G -- with Ted Ligety winning gold at the 2013 world championships in Schladming, Austria, and Andrew Weibrecht and Bode Miller earning silver and bronze respectively at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The 46-year-old Evers was found guilty by a regional court in Salzburg of laundering 1.7 million euros ($2.35 million), which his former girlfriend allegedly stole from a computer company she worked for from 2001-05. The woman was convicted of stealing a total of 7.6 million euros and was released in October 2012 after 30 months in prison.
From 2004-12, Evers allegedly used the money for investments and to finance the construction of his house in Flachau, which has been confiscated by the justice department. The court said Evers had been aware of the origin of the money since 2005.
Evers, who has partly confessed to the laundering according to his attorney Kurt Jelinek, can appeal the verdict.
"Mr. Evers wants to put the case behind him," Jelinek said, adding his client cooperated with authorities in order to wipe the slate clean.
In December 2012, Evers was arrested in Salzburg by Austrian police when he returned home following races in North America but was released from custody the next day.
At that time, the U.S. team said Evers had not violated any terms of his contract and the arrest didn't appear to have affected his coaching.
Evers won silver in downhill at the 1986 junior world championships before coaching Austrian greats Hermann Maier, Stephan Eberharter and Benjamin Raich during his 17-year stint with his national federation before switching to the U.S. team in 2012.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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