Spanish police arrested a former cyclist yesterday for allegedly trafficking in banned performance-enhancing substances in a case linked to a major doping investigation days before it goes to court.
Miguel Angel Adan, a spokesman for Spain's anti-doping agency, told The Associated Press that it was studying the arrest of former cyclist Jose Luis Martinez for allegedly selling banned doping substances along with three other detainees.
In 2006, the Operation Puerto investigation linked Martinez to Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, one of six defendants set to stand trial from Monday.
In a statement released yesterday, police said that they had found more than 300,000 doses of banned substances in a secret laboratory in the southeastern town of Molina de Segura. Substances included clenbuterol, primobolan, testovis, testosterone, proviron, growth hormones, ephedrine, equipment for making vials and pills, and a blood plasma centrifuge.
Police said that in addition to investigations started in Spain in 2010, they also received information from Swedish authorities regarding the "interception of a package sent from the town of Molina de Segura containing illicit products".
Besides charging the four detainees with crimes against the public health, police raided five locations in the southern provinces of Murcia and Alicante.
In 2006, Operation Puerto implicated more than 50 cyclists - including Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich - in the use of performance-enhancing substances. After years of delays, it has finally reached the courts where the members of the alleged doping ring will be tried on charges against the public health.