EPO and Clenbuterol seized in Catalunya following tip off from pro cyclist
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Friday, February 18, 2011

EPO and Clenbuterol seized in Catalunya following tip off from pro cyclist

by Shane Stokes at 5:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Seven people arrested in connected with doping ring

Following a tip-off in December from a pro rider, an investigation into doping in Catalunya has led to the arrest of seven people suspected of providing banned products to sportspeople. Early indications are that amongst the substances seized are the blood booster EPO, the lean muscle promoter Clenbuterol, nandrolone, steroids and growth hormones.

According to AFP, amateur athletes and bodybuilders were amongst those being held. No cyclists were taken into custody. A spokeswoman for the Catalan police said that a pro cyclist had been offered banned products in December via anonymous email and reported this, leading to the launching of the operation.

El Pais suggests that the email was traced and that this sequence of events has led on to these seven arrests in various parts of Catalunya.

La Vanguardia reports that the raids are part of what is being termed Operacion Cursa, and that those arrested were allegedly involved in distributing the doping substances in gyms. It says they have been accused of crimes against public health and will appear in court today in Olot, where the investigation is based.

If it is confirmed that Clenbuterol is involved, it will add support to the theory that the substance is amongst those being abused by some sportspeople.

Triple Tour de France winner Alberto Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol during last year’s race, with analysis of samples showing trace amounts of the chemical. However he denies deliberately using the substance, saying that the source for the chemical in his system came from tainted meat purchased in Irún, a town in the north of the Basque Country.

Three days ago the Spanish cycling federation RFEC confirmed that it had accepted Alberto Contador’s explanation that he had not taken the substance deliberately.

The president of Anti Doping Denmark, Jens Evald, has read the RFEC decision and gives his backing to it, saying that he considers it a ‘very thorough and unbiased presentation.’ He said there was no evidence that an objective criteria had not been followed.

The UCI and WADA are currently awaiting receipt of the dossier from the Spanish federation in relation to his case, and will then decide whether or not they will appeal the RFEC decision. The UCI will have 30 days to lodge an appeal to CAS, while WADA has 51.

If an appeal is made, UCI president Pat McQuaid has said that he wants it to be concluded before the Tour de France. However CAS told VeloNation this week that there is a chance that a verdict could be delayed past June. The Tour begins on July 2nd.


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