Spanish police have dismantled a doping wholesaler who was in possession of more than 1.65 million doses of performance-enhancing drugs worth €1 million.
Police officers in Catalonia arrested seven people in connection with the criminal organisation - five Spaniards, one Moroccan and one Pakistani - on suspicion of drug trafficking and forgery.
Working as wholesalers, they offered quantity-based discounts to other groups and used a network of collaborators who received the parcels of drugs at their homes. These were called "receiving centres", with packages sent out from a logistics warehouse that only the two heads of the group had access to.
Thirteen mobile phones and €13,000 in cash was seized from the home of the organisation's leader, while other searches uncovered laboratory drug listings, proof of drug shipments to addresses in Spain, as well as 170 marijuana plants.
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, an activity that was mostly undertaken in Catalonia.
In total, 1.65 million drug doses were found (opens in new tab), totalling 40,000 boxes of 140 different oral and injectable substances. This included 1.3 million units of anabolic or other injectable products and 31,000 doses of growth hormone.
The investigation began after a shipment of 100 boxes of growth hormone were delivered to the wrong address by a transportation company.
The detainees were present in court between January 30 and February 19 and released on charges. The investigation is ongoing and authorities haven't ruled out making further arrests.
Last month Spanish police made what was then the biggest EPO bust in Europe, arresting six people and recovering 850 doses of the blood booster.
Those involved in the operation used at least seven web pages to offer EPO and other performance-enhancing drugs to customers for at least the last 10 years, with authorities saying they expect a large number of national and international athletes to be implicated.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
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.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and 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.
8 common issues faced by smaller adult cyclists – and a bike fitter’s advice on how to overcome them
From frame size to stance width, crank length to brake levers – stock setups are stacked against smaller cyclists, but there are ways to get a better fit
By Nicole Oh • Published
Wahoo Christmas Sales discounts on Kickr V5 smart trainer, Kickr Bike 1.0 and V1 Elemnt Roam bike computer
Wahoo have continued to reduce prices on some of its best known products, offering big savings during the Christmas period
By Paul Norman • Published