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Forty Nabbed in Italian Sports Drug Raid -- December 13, 2000

BOLOGNA, Dec. 13. ITALIAN police have arrested more than 40 people in connection with an international drug dealing ring with athletes.

In what is being considered the largest doping raid in Europe, hundreds of police throughout Italy searched 200 locations, mostly sports clubs.

Police confiscated large quantities of banned doping
substances - including human growth hormones, the
endurance-enhancing drug EPO and anabolic steroids - believed intended for sale to amateur athletes.

The action was the first major raid since hard-hitting
anti-doping laws were passed in Italy a few weeks ago. The new law sends convicted doping dealers to jail for up to six years and doped athletes up to three years.

The raids were called by Bologna-based prosecutor Giovanni Spinosa, who is investigating sports doctor Francesco Conconi--a member of the IOC medical commission--on suspicion of systematic doping of top athletes.

Spinosa believes Italian drug dealers have customers in
Germany, Russia, Argentina, the United States, Spain, Greece and Canada.