Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Scandal in Soelden?

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Fans of US racer Julia Mancuso were disappointed when she barely failed to qualify for a second run in Soelden. Imagine their surprise and delight when 30th place Japanese ski racer Emi Hasegawa was disqualified and Julia got an opportunity for a second run. Hasegawa was disqualified for an equipment violation but no specifics were given. After hearing rumours that there may have been some foul play going on, we sent one of our intrepid reporters to Austria to figure out what really happened in Soelden. We were unable to contact anyone from either the US Ski Team or the Japanese Ski Federation. But our old friend, Schladming police chief Hermann Mayer, was willing to talk to us about what happened in Soelden. Let's find out what he has to say. 

BB: Herr Mayer, were you actually at the women's race in Soelden?
Mayer: Of course! I attend all of the ski races in Austria. I not only watch the races, I hand out Hermann Maier's autograph cards because people think I am the Herminator and not the police chief. 
BB: Schladming must not have any crime if you can take weekends off to attend ski races.
Mayer: The biggest crime in the history of ski racing occurred  in my town during the World Championships! But other than that, we have almost no crime in Schladming. It is a very safe place.
BB: By biggest crime in the history of ski racing, you mean a course worker failing to clear away some soft snow from a jump in the women's Super-G race, which caused Lindsey Vonn to fall and injure her knee?
Mayer: That was not a crime; that was an accident. I'm talking about Sweden kidnapping the German team's witch doctor. Our methods for getting the witch doctor back are now part of the curriculum in police academies all over Austria. Dr. Mabongo's kidnapping was not in vain.
BB: That's great to hear. Our intrepid researchers heard about some foul play going on in Soelden. Is that really true or just a rumor?
Mayer: We have heard various stories and are checking them all out.
BB: Were any witch doctors involved?
Mayer: Despite the higher number of witch doctors than last season, there were no witch doctors involved.
BB: So nobody paid off a witch doctor to put a curse on Emi Hasegawa's equipment?
Mayer: No. All of the witch doctors were told in pre-race briefings that they were not allowed to put any voodoo curses on opposing teams' skiers or their equipment. In fact, the International Ski Federation (FIS) is formulating a special Code of Conduct for Witch Doctors to prevent too many curses and counter-curses during races. The skiers will have to win on their own, just like in the old days.
BB: What about Mafia hit men? I know that Vinnie "The Shark" Razzovelli works for both Red Bull and HEAD. As we know, HEAD is one of Julia's sponsors.
Mayer: We did not see any Mafia hit men at the races in Soelden. None of the skiers requested bodyguards at the races.
BB: Can you tell us what activity went on in Soelden that requires a police investigation?
Mayer: According to the Japanese, the US ski team bribed the FIS's equipment checker to say that Hasegawa was not in compliance. The Japanese also claim that the US gave them money to keep the matter quiet. The US is denying everything and said that Hasegawa's trainers were at fault for her non-compliant equipment and that Julia deserved her place in the second run.
BB: When did all of these payoffs supposedly take place?
Mayer: I have heard different things. The first version, which makes the most sense, is that they happened after the first run. I also heard another story that the payoffs happened right after Julia finished her first run and the US team knew she had a poor run. Yet another version of events is that the payoffs happened before the race even started.
BB: That last one does not make sense. There was no way to know before the race that Julia would be 31st after the first run and Hasegawa 30th. 
Mayer: One of the police officers found a crystal ball, an Ouija board, and a deck of Tarot cards in the US team's equipment truck. We are checking them out as well as other leads.
BB: Are other Austrian police agencies involved with your investigation?
Mayer: Yes. Interpol is also involved, as is my faithful bloodhound Fido.
BB: How can a dog follow a money trail? 
Mayer:  Fido is a bloodhound and can follow any trail, even an electronic one.
BB: He sounds like a real wonder dog. (slight pause) What have you found so far that you can disclose to us?
Mayer: As I said before, we found a crystal ball. It is now in a lab in Vienna. Special technicians will test it to see if it is a proper crystal ball for predicting the future or simply a decorative item. We will find out in the next week after all of the test results are in. The Tarot cards and Ouija board are also being tested.
BB: Was there anything else that seemed suspicious? The US doesn't have a team witch doctor and Vinnie went back to the States with Lindsey Vonn on Tiger Woods' jet. 
Mayer: We did find an unusual deposit into the Japanese Ski Federation's account that was set up for Soelden. It came from a numbered Swiss account. Interpol agents are in the process of finding out who owns that account and why money was transferred to the Japanese federation.
BB: How much money was deposited into the Japanese account?
Mayer: I cannot disclose the amount. Suffice it to say it was enough to get our attention.
BB: Could it have been money transferred from Japan because the racers and their trainers had some unexpected expenses?
Mayer: That is the most plausible explanation. But we must check out where the money came from to be 100% sure.
BB: There is also the claim that the US paid off the FIS to disqualify Hasegawa so that Julia could race. Were there any unusual money transfers to the FIS or withdrawals from any US accounts?
Mayer: We are checking that out but so far have found nothing. But there are a lot of accounts to check with only one dog. When we have anything else to report, you will be the first to know.
BB: What about the other Austrian police and Interpol agents?
Mayer: Unfortunately, Interpol didn't give us as many agents as we would have liked. The same goes for the other police agencies. I guess they figured that since Fido and I were the ones who got Dr. Mabongo back for Germany, the two of us can figure out if there was collusion between the US and FIS to disqualify Emi Hasegawa or if  she really did have an equipment violation.
BB: Are you involved with the elephants that were found by the Austrian women's team when they were training before the race?
Mayer: Yes. In fact, the Austrian police and Interpol are more concerned with the elephants than with any possible bribery or other wrongdoing in Soelden. There is a joint Gendarmarie-Interpol task force working on the elephant case. (see this story)
BB: Have you figured out where the elephants came from?
Mayer: That's the odd thing. We talked with every zoo in Europe, North America, South America, and Australia, and nobody is missing any elephants. Nobody knows where they came from or how they got to Soelden.
BB: Those elephants were supposed to be used to invade Slovenia. The invaders were going to cross the Alps on them. 
Mayer: The last person to do that was Hannibal. It worked for him, but it didn't turn out so well for his elephants.
BB: The invasion of Slovenia was luckily cancelled. But someone evidently forgot about the elephants and left them in the mountains.
Mayer: We suspected that someone was up to no good. Our original thought was that the US was going to storm the Japanese team's hotel with the elephants in order to disqualify Emi and get Julia in the race. They decided to stash the elephants in a remote place in the mountains, but the elephants got hungry and wandered to where the Austrians were training. The timing really didn't fit because the elephants were found the week before the race, before anyone knew the outcome of the first run. But the US did have that crystal ball, Ouija board and Tarot cards, so they may have known something that we didn't.
BB: What is going to happen to the elephants?
Mayer: They have been taken to the Salzburg Zoo, where they are being fed. We are in the process of trying to find out where they came from so we can return them to their rightful owners. If we can't find their owners, we will put them up for adoption. If you know people who can give an elephant a good loving home, have them call my office in Schladming or Interpol.
BB: If any of our readers would like an elephant, please contact Herr Mayer or your nearest Interpol field office. Herr Mayer, thank you for your time and information. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

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