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Czech national hockey team's head coach Ruzicka resigns

Baku-APA. 52-year-old Vladimir Ruzicka resigned on Tuesday as the head coach of Czech national ice hockey team in reaction to a corruption suspicion, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Ruzicka rejected all corruption accusations in his statement and said he would defend himself against them.

 

All the suspicions concern the Slavia Praha club that Ruzicka coached from 2000 until the end of the past hockey season, when the club was relegated from the Elite League. Ruzicka together with his friend Jiri Moucek allegedly received money from parents of several players to enable their sons to continue playing for the club.

 

"With regard to the continuation of a media campaign that is against me started before the ice hockey championship that systematically and purposefully maintained, I have decided to resign as coach of the Czech national hockey team," said Ruzicka in a press release.

 

He said he has already informed the president of Czech Ice Hockey Association (CSLH) Thomas King.

 

The case of Ruzicka began in April, shortly before the Ice Hockey World Championship held in the Czech Republic, when Miroslav Palascak released a video from a hidden camera indicating that Ruzicka accepted a bribe of 500,000 crowns (about 2 million U.S.dollars) to enable his son to play for Slavia. Some other parents also provided testimonies claiming Ruzicka had asked them for money for their children's playing hockey.

 

Czech police has started investigating the scandal. CSLH said it would not sack Ruzicka as the coach of the national team because it respected the presumption of innocence. CSLH president convoked a special meeting of the association's executive committee to discuss the Ruzicka case on Tuesday.

 

Ruzicka said that he would like to stress that he had never done anything illegal or even criminal. He rejected all accusations and he would defend himself to reach his complete exoneration.

 

Ruzicka coached Czech national ice hockey team in 2004-2005, 2008-2010 and he returned to the team after the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

 

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