Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Spain’s National Police has arrested six athletes which they allege are part of a criminal organisation designed to supply performance enhancing substances to countries including Spain, Morocco, France, and Italy. Police said that the organisation was divided into two branches involving a Moroccan based in Zaragoza and an Ethiopian based in Madrid. Zaragoza was the base for the distribution and sale of doping products to athletes, whilst Madrid was used as the base for obtaining drugs for sale.
‘The investigation began when officers received information implicating a professional athlete in a web of illegal trafficking of drugs for doping in sport’, read a statement. ‘The police found an athlete working as a coach in Calatayud (Zaragoza) who was connected with athletes for the exchange of what appeared to be pharmaceuticals. In addition, it was found that his girlfriend was a highly competitive athlete who is serving a four year sanction for doping.’
Police found that the Zaragoza branch of the organisation utilised two professional athletes who were responsible for facilitating contacts with other athletes interested in buying doping products. It also found that the organisation took advantage of athlete travel to Morocco, France and Italy through transporting substances hidden in their luggage.
The substances involved are human growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, injectable vitamins and equipment for autologous blood transfusions, said Police. The statement mentioned that in order to avoid detection, those involved spoke about ‘carrots’ to indicate injectables, and ‘peas’ to indicate pills. Three athletes were arrested in Zaragoza, two in Madrid and one in Valencia.
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