New Italian doping raid nets 30 arrests

Former Serbian national coach among arrested

Police in the northern Italian town Padua have arrested the former national cycling coach of Serbia in a new doping investigation dubbed 'via col doping', which is said to involve 12 professional cyclists.

Searches of 10 different regions uncovered thousands of doses of doping products and led to the arrest of Aleksandar Nikacevic, formerly the Serbian coach and now director of the Partizan Belgrado cycling team.

The authorities also said they suspected another 30 people of being involved in the doping ring, including riders, three team directors and representatives of pharmaceutical companies.

Seized in the raids were a number of performance enhancing substances such as the CERA, the erythropoeitin derivative for which Italians Riccardo Ricco', Leonardo Piepoli and David Rebellin tested positive last year.

There has been no announcement linking these riders to the investigation.

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