© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) continues to pursue clean sport with a vengeance. After decades of impotence in the chase to prosecute and convict drug cheats, WADA, over the past few years has begun to make a dent in the organised crime end of performance-enhancing doping.

On Monday, WADA announced that they worked with the largest organised doping raid in the world, which involved Interpol as well as Greek and Italian police to seize millions of doping substances. They apparently arrested over 200 people.

The organisation was made up of over 33 nations including the US and 23 European countries.

In a press release, WADA said that they “dismantled 17 organised crime groups involved in the trafficking of counterfeit medicines and doping material across Europe.”

The coordinating organisation called Europol said the operation “was the largest of its kind ever”.

Apparently, Greek and Italian police shut down nine underground labs in Europe and confiscated 24 tons of steroid powder.

“We would like to congratulate all member states and other organisations that contributed to this successful operation,” said Gunter Younger, WADA’s head of intelligence and investigations.

Going from focussing on athletes to the source is a smart move, albeit likely slower moving. The next step in the success of cleaning up sports is to enable conviction. A prime example of the failure to completely stop the cycle of supply, distribution and use is of the case of Somalian coach Jama Aden, who was arrested in Sabadell, Spain by Spanish police after a month-long sting operation. He continues to walk free, despite being caught red-handed with doping paraphernalia at his hotel, with over 20 world-class athletes in attendance.