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, 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.