Czech national team coach Ruzicka resigns amid bribery scandal

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Vladimir Ruzicka has decided to step down from his post as the head coach of the Czech Republic’s national team amid a bribery scandal, per the Associated Press.

“I’ve decided to stand down following a concerted media campaign directed against me since April,” Ruzicka conveyed in a statement. He also maintained that he hasn’t done anything illegal.

He allegedly accepted a bribe from Miroslav Palascak of 500,000 Czech koruna ($20,000) while coaching Slavia Prague of the Czech league in 2012-13. Palascak was quoted by the media as saying that the money was given to Ruzicka to guarantee that his son would stay on the team. Since then other parents have claimed that Ruzicka sought money from them to aide in their respective sons’ playing careers.

Ruzicka won an Olympic gold medal in 1998 as a player and has coached the Czech Republic to world titles in 2005 and 2010. He’s also a veteran of 233 career NHL games with Edmonton, Boston, and Ottawa.