Rabat - Authorities suspect sixty Moroccan athletes of using performance enhancing steroids, based on cell phone numbers gathered from the devices of known vendors of the substances considered illicit in athletic competitions, according to a new report by Medias24.
Rabat – Authorities suspect sixty Moroccan athletes of using performance enhancing steroids, based on cell phone numbers gathered from the devices of known vendors of the substances considered illicit in athletic competitions, according to a new report by Medias24.
A source close to the matter said five people have been arrested in relation to the short text messages they received from the steroid dealers after the Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation filed a complaint against the network of suppliers.
The main distributor had been an award-winning national athlete representing Morocco, Medias24 said, without identifying the suspect. Others had been military athletes who had received medals in international competitions.
Police suspect the distributors’ network extends to Europe – the continent that sources “a large quantity” of the doping substances found in the kingdom. Professional smugglers from France and Italy have been tied to the Moroccan suspects.
“Morocco, especially, and Africa, generally, are known for the widespread use of steroids abroad, but the athletes are in contact with athletic organizations outside the continent involved in such issues,” Aziz Daouda, a member of the Technical Committee of the African Athletic Federation, told Medias24. “Here in Morocco and Africa, the production of steroids does not occur; they all come from abroad.”
The allegations against the Moroccan athletes comes just hours after the International Olympic Committee opened disciplinary proceedings against 31 athletes from 12 countries for using performance-enhacing drugs during the 2008 Beijing games. All of the athletes accuse had planned to take part in the Rio de Janeiro games this August, but the results of the hearings could jeopardize their future participation in any international competition.
The IOC retains urine samples for up to 10 years in order to allow authorities to rerun tests with newer technologies. The olympic body says it plans to release the results of the retest of 250 samples taken before the London Olympics in 2012.
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