Photo: Dave Reddick

Photo: David Reddick

Words: Chris Lesser & Lou Mazzante

Missy Giove, the embattled former downhill world champion, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in Albany, New York yesterday that stemmed from a massive drug bust last summer. She now faces up to five years in prison, according to the Associated Press.

Giove, 38, was arrested in June for her alleged role in a large-scale marijuana smuggling operation. Police reportedly discovered 220 pounds of marijuana in a trailer she was driving, and another 150 pounds in the home of Eric Canori, near Wilton, New York, where police made the bust. Police also reportedly found $1 million in cash at the home.

When news of Giove's arrest first spread in June, many were surprised, but few were truly shocked. Giove earned the nickname "The Missile" not just for flying down courses, but for her explosive personality. She had an aggressive style and was willing to let it all hang out on the course, breaking more than 30 bones in her career.

Off the course, she was equally brash. She famously wore a dead piranha around her neck, and rode with the ashes of deceased pets tucked into her sports bra. While shocking, Giove's style propelled her to 14 NORBA downhill titles and 11 World Cup victories, including the 1994 Downhill World Championships.

According to the AP report, Giove cooperated with police after her arrest, and on Monday pleaded guilty to a federal drug conspiracy charge. She is expected to be sentenced on March 25.

Read the full story on the drug bust HERE