Cycling: Liberty manager held in police raid
Wednesday 24 May 2006
The manager of one of cycling's top teams has been detained for questioning by Spanish police as part of a major anti-doping investigation. The Liberty Seguros manager, Manolo Saiz, together with the controversial sports medic Eufemanio Fuentes, was being held in a police station in Madrid last night, along with another doctor, an official from a second team and a mountain bike professional.
Police raided four flats in the Spanish capital and in Saragossa as part of the operation yesterday morning, one housing a clinic.
Spanish sports newspaper reports claimed that more than 1,000 doses of anabolic steroids and hormones, as well as about 100 drip-bags of artificially manipulated blood had been discovered in the clinic.
The products are believed to belong to a drugs ring set up to supply professional athletes with illegal performance-enhancing substances.
Liberty Seguros officials denied that there was anything to worry about. "We're staying calm because there is no room for any kind of doubt," said the team director, Pablo Anton.
Saiz used to boast that his teamhad never had a positive dope test in their 16-year historybut their former leading rider Roberto Heras ended that record in 2005 when traces of the banned substance EPO were found in his blood.
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