By Jonny Long
Police have dismantled a doping wholesaler operating on an 'industrial-scale' in Spain, seizing three million drug doses in the process.
Investigators made 20 searches in homes and businesses across multiple cities in Spain, including Málaga, Almería, Cádiz, Castellón and City Real. 21 people were arrested in connection with the criminal organisation.
Millions of euros of performance-enhancing drugs were seized, totalling three million doses as well as 65 kilograms of active ingredients used to make various drugs, which if utilised could create an additional 38 million doses.
The police have said the laboratory had the capacity to make one tonne of doping products per year, and the capability to produce 30 different types of performance-enhancing drugs.
This latest bust follows two other operations successfully carried out to thwart the sale of doping products in Spain this year.
In late February, Spanish police took down a wholesaler in Catalonia and seized more than 1.6 million doses worth €1 million, arresting five people in the process.
The wholesaler used a network of "receiving centres" sent out from a logistics warehouse that only the two heads of the operation had access to.
At one receiving centre, 84,000 tablets and 2,500 bottles of oral and injectable PEDs were found. Evidence of counterfeiting doping drugs was also discovered. In total, 1.3 million units of anabolic and other injectable products were found, as well as 31,000 doses of growth hormone.
Then, in January, a huge criminal ring that posted EPO to athletes worldwide was uncovered, officers making six arrests and confiscating 850 pre-filled EPO syringes as well as other medicines without hte proper storage or temperature. The substances had been obtained through a dialysis clinic in Cádiz, a city in southwestern Spain.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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