The coach of the reigning female athlete of the year Genzebe Dibaba has been arrested as part of a joint anti-doping operation by Catalan police, world athletics’ governing body and the Spanish anti-doping agency.
The police operation was carried out in collaboration with the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD) at a hotel where the Somali coach was staying with his training group.
Aden, 53, who is Somalian, coaches some of the fastest track athletes in the world, including Dibaba, 25, who is an Ethiopian world-record holder in the 1500 meters (3:50.07).
Police said Aden and his trainer were under arrest on charges of administering and distributing doping substances and endangering public health. It is understood EPO was found in one of the rooms.
“All Aden did previous year, for a very short period of time, was to hold a stop watch and shout out times to athletes as they completed their track sessions”, the spokesman said.
Local authorities did not expect further arrests to follow.
The athletes, including Dibaba, at the raided hotel were mainly from Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia or Djibouti.
The probe was nicknamed “Operation Rial” by investigators. None of those athletes has ever failed a drugs test.
Dibaba is a heavy favorite to win the Olympic women’s 1,500 in Rio de Janeiro.
The country was unable to form a government following elections a year ago, so parliament could not update its anti-doping legislation to match the revised global regulations.
One of the world’s leading middle distance coaches Jama Aden has been arrested in connection with a doping investigation in Spain. The Madrid Provincial Court said bags containing blood samples and plasma should be handed over to WADA, the Spanish Cycling Federation, the International Cycling Union and Italy’s Olympic committee.