Mihai Apostol

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Mihai Apostol (born April 28, 1971) is a Canadian sprint canoer who competed from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Apostol was born in Romania, but defected to Canada with two teammates while attending the 1989 world junior paddling championship in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He was 18 years old at the time. After defecting, Apostol took up residence in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and struggled to adapt to life in Canada without his family.[1]

Apostol returned to the sport in 1991, training out of and competing for the Banook Canoe Club, and eventually became a world-class sprint kayaker, excelling especially in shorter sprints. He achieved Canadian citizenship in 1995, making him eligible to compete for Canada at the Olympic Games. Competing in two Summer Olympics, he earned his best finish of seventh in the K-4 1000 m event at Atlanta in 1996.[2] Following his retirement as an Olympian in 2003, Mihai competed for several years with the Dragon Boat East dragon boat club. He also competed at the 2012 Canadian Masters Nationals sprint canoe-kayak championships, where he obtained four gold medals in various events.

Apostol now resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife and daughter.

Marijuana-Related Arrest and Dismissal of Charges[edit]

In December 2012, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced that they had arrested and charged Apostol in a large marijuana-related drug bust in Nova Scotia. Because of his status as an Olympian, Apostol was given a high profile in the media coverage of the bust, being mentioned in most headlines and even featured in file photographs used to illustrate the stories.[3][4] In August 2015, Apostol was committed to stand trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on charges stemming from the 2012 arrest.[5] In December 2015, lawyers for Apostol and Kenneth Greer appeared in court to face charges of cultivating marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking. Both men entered pleas of not guilty, and elected to be tried by a judge alone. Their trial date was set for 31 October 2016, 46 months after the initial arrest.[6]

On September 14, 2016, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Joshua Arnold ruled that all charges against Apostol and Greer must be stayed due to the unreasonably long delays in bringing the case to trial. This included long waits for the disclosure of Crown's evidence against Apostol in the case.[7] Thomas Singleton, Apostol's lawyer, suggested that the Crown's evidence against Apostol was weak and entirely circumstantial, which contributed to the delays. Singleton was quoted as saying: "From my review of all of the evidence and listening to Mr. Apostol tell me this over the past four years, Mr. Apostol was an innocent man who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevenson, Chris (September 25, 2000). "Kayaker fights the currents". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mihai Apostol". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Jeffrey, Davene (December 14, 2012). "Doctor, Olympian, principal among 29 arrested in major marijuana bust". Halifax Herald. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "The doctor, principal, coach and athlete". CBC.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. December 14, 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Bruce, Steve (September 1, 2015). "Olympic paddler sent to trial on drug charges". Halifax Herald. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Bruce, Steve. "Olympic paddler faces trial on drug charges next fall". TheChronicleHerald.ca. The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Dooley, Richard (15 September 2016). "Pot charges against former Dartmouth Olympian Mihai Apostol stayed". Global News. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Luck, Shaina (15 September 2016). "Former Olympian vilified by drug bust, lawyer says after charges stayed". CBC News. Retrieved 25 October 2016.