Former Cannondale world downhill mountain bike champion Missy Giove had plead guilty to smuggling marijuana, capping what is likely one of the most spectacular tumbles from grace in all of action sports. The 37-year-old, featured last fall here retired from pro racing in 2003 after world championship titles and a flamboyant career peaking with her world title in 1994 and a sponsor contract that was the envy of all pro pedalers.
Last month Giove admitted her role in a 3-year smuggling operation, telling cops she took $30,000 to coordinate couriers shuttling marijuana from California to New York. Last summer, cops busted her in Illinois with 350 pounds of marijuana. They later found another 30 to 50 pounds of the weed at a co-conspirator’s home, along with more than $1 million cash.
She could face up to five years in federal prison. Sentencing is set for March.
Giove is not the first American Cannondale downhill racer to have been charged with a marijuana-related offense. Giove, however, faces penalties far more serious than those handed down to 2000 world champion Myles Rockwell, who was arrested in 2004 for operating a sophisticated hydroponic system used to grow 52 high quality sinsemilla plants in his home in Colorado. A state judge sentenced Rockwell to 30 nights in jail, permitting him to spend his days as a free man, and ordered him to attend a drug rehabilitation program