Hundreds arrested in largest international anti - doping campaign News -

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European police have arrested more than 230 people and confiscated 3.8 million stimulants in the world's largest ever anti-doping campaign.

In 33 countries, including the United States, Germany, Britain and France, organs participated in Operation Viribus, according to the EU law enforcement agency, as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Interpol.

Seventeen gangs of organized crime were seized, nine secret laboratories dismantled and more than 800 criminal investigations opened as a result of the police-led operation in Italy and Greece.

Nearly a thousand people were reported on charges of producing, selling or using stimulants, and 24 tons of raw steroid powder was seized.

"Over the past 20 years, worldwide trade in anabolic stimulants has increased dramatically," European police said in a statement on Monday. "The trade in stimulants is usually very decentralized and flexible and is open to anyone wishing to buy online or travel to producing countries and buy materials in large quantities from legitimate manufacturers," she said.

Recent trends include non-professional athletes, motorcyclists and bodybuilders buying small packages of stimulants from Asia and Eastern Europe for sale to gyms, she said.

Social networking sites are used to advertise doping, people are increasingly buying on the dark web and using rechargeable credit cards and coded currencies.

WB / HZ (dpa, bd)

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