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Civil Guard release details of Operación Grial

By:
Richard Tyler
Published:
November 25, 2009, 16:50 GMT,
Updated:
November 25, 2009, 17:15 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 26, 2009
A member of the Spanish Civil Guard handles blood bags

A member of the Spanish Civil Guard handles blood bags

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Spanish authorities confirm 11 people detained

The Spanish Civil Guard have released details of Tuesday's raids on locations across Spain that targeted an alleged doping ring and led to the arrest of 11 individuals, including three cyclists.

Dubbed Operación Grial [Operation Grail], the Civil Guard issued a statement today which outlined the basis for the raids carried out in the cities of Valencia, Barcelona, Murcia and Granada, as well as the initials of the nine men and two women subsequently detained.

"Investigations were initiated in early August 2009 when the Civil Guard became aware of the existence of a group of people, mostly residents in Valencia, which were dedicated to supplying doping products to people of different sports and categories," read the statement.

The Civil Guard also revealed details of the activities of the alleged doping ring, which they say include the distribution of EPO, growth hormones and masking agents.

"During the investigations it was discovered that among the network of members was a physician with sports and dietary consultation in Valencia, whose role would be to prepare training plans, nutrition and supplementation aimed at improving the performance of athletes, including substances in these plans prohibited in sport."

Various Spanish media sources have identified Peruvian physician and former Kelme team doctor Walter Viru, and Contentpolis-AMPO cyclist Pedro José Vera as two of the individuals who were detained as part of the operation. The Civil Guard's statement provided the initials and alleged roles of those arrested on Tuesday:

In Valencia:

W.S.V.R. (sports doctor), M.M.G., (wife and physician assistant); J.D.V.M. (pharmacist and son of the above); W.J.V.M (son and partner of the above), S.A.B., E.R.M. and C.V.M. (distributors), V.N.R., (athletic trainer), J.O.R., (dealer and amateur cyclist).

In Murcia:

P.J.V.A. (distributor and professional cyclist).

In Barcelona:

C.N.T. (dealer and amateur cyclist).

The Civil Guard said the operation had dismantled the alleged doping ring, however it has not ruled out making further arrests.

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