Anti-doping fight: 234 arrests in raids in 33 countries
A prosecution of Europol in 33 countries has led to the confiscation of 24 tonnes of steroid powder and the arrest of 234 suspects. According to the European Police Department, a total of 3.8 million doping drugs and counterfeit medicines were seized. The action was held under the auspices of Italy and Greece and with the participation of World Anti-Doping Agency Wada at the same time in 23 EU and ten other countries, including Switzerland, Colombia and the USA.
In the raids were also discovered nine secret laboratories. Europol announced that as part of the operation, it performed 1,357 urine and blood tests at sporting events. However, no information was given about which events or sports were affected.
"This is the kind of multi-party collaboration that brings real results and can have a significant impact on the availability of counterfeit and illicit drugs used by some athletes worldwide," said Günter Younger, chief investigator for Wada.
In the largest anti-doping operation in history, 17 organized crime groups have been raided in Europe, the Wada said. Europol said that over the past 20 years, global trade in anabolic steroids has increased significantly. Farmers and breeders would also order more illegal hormones.
Currently in connection with doping in sport also the investigation in the course of the so-called "Operation Aderlass". At the end of February, the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office arrested several people at the Nordic Ski World Championships in Seefeld, including athletes. In Germany, a doctor from Erfurt as a suspected mastermind of a suspected network in the center of the investigation. According to previous findings, at least 21 athletes from eight countries and five winter and summer sports in Europe, South Korea and Hawaii are said to have operated illegal blood doping.