More than 230 arrests in anti-doping raid

More than 230 arrests in anti-doping raid

DYou can imagine the cautious relief in top-level sport. Although the investigations were just beginning, said the spokeswoman for the Cologne Customs Criminal Office, Ruth Naliti, the German Press Agency. But the current investigation in the context of "Operation Viribus" should be directed mainly against recreational sports. "The probability is great," she is quoted as saying. The "Operation Viribus", with raids in 33 mainly European countries to combat the trade in anabolic steroids and counterfeit medicines, has spawned laboratories and trade routes and has also led to customers who are "fanatical gym attendees and Bodybuilder "is how Europol explained in a statement.

Evi Simeoni

In this respect, the International Olympic Committee was able to tweet its comment quite relaxed: "It is crucial to target the dealers and producers who facilitate doping in sport and promote this criminal industry," it said. An upcoming raid on a running top competition of an Olympic sport such as the Tour de France is rather likely. "A valuable blow," said Alfons Hörmann, president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation. "That helps us all."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), whose investigative department regularly contributes its research into justice procedures in various countries, has once again been involved. In a statement, Wada said she could "confirm her role." The agency in Montreal did not want to say more on request – considering the work of the authorities. On May 27 and 28, the various institutions involved in the operation, including Wada, had attended a workshop in Budapest aimed at pooling forces in the fight against doping. Günter Younger, head of the Wada Investigation Division, said in the Statement: "This is the kind of multi-party cooperation that brings real results and can have a major impact on the availability of counterfeit and prohibited means used by some athletes worldwide "The Wada stands ready to continue playing this kind of role.

It was not so long ago that some top European sportspeople were trembling more violently in front of the police. In February 2019, officers of the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office arrested nine people at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld (Austria) as part of the "Operation Aderlass" – including five cross-country skiers. It was about doping with own blood. How many more athletes were customers of the Erfurt-based doctor Mark Schmidt, who for years provided blooddoper with his know-how and technical assistance, is still unknown. Allegedly he decoded against the prosecutor's office in Munich the code name on the blood bags, which stored in a refrigerator in his Erfurt garage. Several names have already been mentioned on the basis of the results of the investigation, especially those of cyclists. Schmidt and a suspected helper are still in custody.

Confiscated: The photo edited by Europol shows doping in France.


Austria also falls on the back of "Operation Viribus": Vienna was a hub for the international shipment of doping products. In June and autumn 2018, investigators seized more than a ton of it. The Federal Criminal Police Office in Austria stated that more than 20 deliveries were sent to Austria and sent to at least nine European countries by a non-initiated Viennese parcel delivery service. Within a year, 21 tons of doping and illegal drugs were sent. Over the past 20 years, Europol has reported that global trade in anabolic steroids has increased dramatically. The numbers are indeed alarming. 17 organized gangs were arrested, nine underground labs were excavated, 234 suspects arrested, 839 cases opened, 24 tons of steroid powder seized.

A huge need, a market worth billions – with not just legal side effects. In competitive sports, the consequences of steroid abuse have been evident for decades. Anabolics are substances that push the body's metabolism. The main thing is to help muscles to grow with medication that is supported by illegal drugs. "These substances," Europol notes, "can seriously damage human health."

. (tagsToTranslate) Günter Younger (t) Police (t) Europol (t) World Anti-Doping Agency (t) Viribus (t) Raid (t) Doping

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