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Saturday 29, Jun 2013

  Spanish Police Arrest 84 In Doping Crackdown

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Spanish Police Arrest 84 In Doping Crackdown

The Spanish interior ministry has announced that police have arrested 84 people and dismantled two criminal gangs accused of importing and distributing sports doping substances across Spain.

It was further disclosed by the ministry that the raids were conducted over a period of ten months in ten regions of the country, with half the arrests in the country’s three largest cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. In all, the authorities seized about 707,000 doses of anabolic steroids, blood boosters, and growth hormones and these substances were distributed through Spanish private homes and sports centers, according to the ministry statement. The ministry also revealed that one of the involved gangs imported the illegal products from Portugal, and the other imported their substances from Greece and China however the ministry desisted from disclosing the identities of those arrested but said they included a pharmacist.

The Ministry said in a statement that officers have dismantled two organizations importing the products, which can cause severe damage to health. The security forces, in their first operation, arrested 75 people accused of using the postal service to introduce doping drugs from Portugal to then sell on in gyms and private homes in Madrid, Valencia, the Basque Country and Asturias. Forty-seven homes were searched by police seizing more than 24,000 doses. According to estimates by the Spanish police, the organization could have introduced doping substances valued at more than 11,000 euros per day during the first trimester of 2013. The second ring made use of social networks for advertising and luring potential clients and introduced the drugs from China and Greece in postal packs. The Spanish police was able to seize 683,000 doses of steroids, EPO, and growth hormone and arrested nine people.

Spanish lawmakers this month approved a new measure that is intended to counter the doping concerns that have damaged the reputation of different sports in the country. The new measure will expand the range of doping tests and imposes larger fines for those dealing in illegal substances along with creating a more autonomous national anti-doping agency to fight the use of performance enhancing drugs. Many believe that this is a desperate attempt by the country because of Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics where it is competing with Istanbul and Tokyo, with the host city expected to be chosen in September. This measure is also expected to bring the country in line with the international norms and dispel the impression that Spain is soft on doping.

The country also wants the world to forget the controversial decision of a Spanish judge after she ordered the destruction of seized blood samples in the Operation Puerto doping scandal, a move that was criticized by the World Anti-Doping Agency and eminent sports personalities like Rafael Nadal. The verdict was even criticized by Alejandro Blanco, the president of Spain’s Olympic committee, who remarked the judge’s verdict had been “a mistake and a disaster” for Spanish sports but insisted that the outcome of the investigation should not undermine Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Summer Games.

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Monday 08, Apr 2013

  Armstrong Barred From Swimming Event

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Armstrong Barred From Swimming Event

Lance Armstrong is no longer scheduled to compete in the U.S. Masters Swimming. The cyclist will not swim three distance events in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas.

The disgraced cyclist, who was banned a few months ago from cycling for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, was originally set to compete against other swimmers but now he is forced to withdraw from the event in his hometown after the International Swimming Federation (FINA) ruled he should be banned from the event.

In a statement, Rob Butcher, executive director of U.S. Masters Swimming, explained the word back is that Lance Armstrong is not eligible to compete in U.S. Masters Swimming because FINA follows the WADA code. He also added that the camp of Armstrong has been notified about this development and the cyclist was allegedly willing to back out of the event set to take place April 5-7.

Serving a lifetime ban from Olympic sports because of serious doping violations, the banned cyclist was planning to make a return to athletic competition this week at a masters swimming event that does not test its athletes for drugs. The cyclist confessed to doping for each of his record seven Tour de France victories and received his lifetime ban and was stripped of his Tour titles under the World Anti-Doping Agency rules. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January, he admitted to using anabolic steroids, blood boosters, performance enhancing drugs, and banned methods during his career; he was also removed from the board of the Livestrong cancer foundation he formed in 1997.

Lance Armstrong said he was “extremely disappointed” that he could not compete in U.S. Masters Swimming and added he has been training with masters teams all over the country for the past several years, and no one ever complained about it. He said of U.S. Masters Swimming that he was told all along that he was more than welcome to compete in masters meets by U.S.M.S. and then all of a sudden, he came to know that he wasn’t welcomed.

Rob Butcher, the executive director of U.S. Masters Swimming, said he contacted United States Aquatic Sports, to determine the eligibility of Armstrong as soon as he learned about his plans to compete but Jim Wood, president of United States Aquatic Sports, said it was he who contacted Butcher about the potential problem. It was later revealed that Lance Armstrong should be barred from this weekend’s event and all future U.S. Masters Swimming events, according to officials from the International Swimming Federation.

After FINA raised objections to his participation, Armstrong withdrew from the event and he likely didn’t have a choice, Butcher said.

The entry of Armstrong was in the event – the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships — and the former cyclist was among the top seeds in those events and would have competed in the age category of 40-44 years. Armstrong had the second-best qualifying time in the 1,000 freestyle and No 3 in the 1,650 and 500 freestyle events, according to the meet event sheets.

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Tuesday 11, Oct 2011

  Testers ready for sophisticated dopers

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The battle to keep the London Olympics drug-free has started long before the opening ceremony next July.

A sophisticated laboratory provided by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Britain’s largest drugmaker, is ready and waiting.

The drugs of choice for cheats range from anabolic steroids to human growth hormone, blood boosters such as erythropoietin (EPO), beta-blockers and stimulants, or diuretics.