• Sweden edition
 

57 convicted in massive Swedish doping scandal

Published: 04 Aug 2011 14:51 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Aug 2011 14:51 GMT+02:00

Fifty-seven people were convicted on Thursday for being part of a massive doping ring in one of the largest criminal cases in Swedish legal history that accrued an estimated 58 million kronor ($9 million) in legal fees.

A total of 70 people were originally charged in the case for manufacturing and selling illicit doping materials.

Two people received tougher sentences than the others convicted in the case, with a man from Sollefteå in northern Sweden receiving a seven-year prison sentence for aggravated smuggling and doping crimes, while a woman was sentenced to six years for the same crimes.

However, charges against the man's wife were thrown out, while his sister was convicted for being an accomplice to aggravated doping crimes, receiving a 16 month prison sentence.

Prosecutors had argued for prison sentences of nine and eight years respectively for the two believed to be behind that nationwide doping network.

Gunnar Falk, defence attorney for the Sollefteå man, was unhappy with the ruling.

“I haven't had a chance to read through the comprehensive ruling, but I can say spontaneously that my client's sentence was too harsh,” he told the TT news agency.

He added that the case should be appealed, perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court, saying that the way the police and prosecutors calculated the scope of the operation was flawed.

Two other men from Gothenburg in western Sweden received sentences that were nearly as long for similar crimes related to handling the doping material.

The operation’s ringleader, a 45-year-old Swede believed to be living in Serbia off the proceeds generated from the sale of doping materials, remains at large.

"The man managed the operations from Spain and Portugal where doping materials which had been imported from China were processed and for further transport to various addresses in Sweden," chief prosecutor Marina Amonsson told news agency in TT in October 2010 at the time charges were filed.

The trial began back in November in Sundsvall in northern Sweden, and is, after seven months of proceedings which ended in June, the most comprehensive trial ever held in Sweden.

Several others were convicted of having different roles in the operation, each receiving prison sentences of varying length.

Two men from Malmö in southern Sweden were sentenced to four and three years, respectively, for possessing, storing, and supplying large amounts of doping material.

Another woman was sentenced to prison for having siphoned off around 1 million kronor from the operation, while others were convicted for various doping offences stemming from actions designed to deflect responsibility from the ringleaders.

A total of 26 people received fines, suspended sentences, youth community service, or prison sentences for various doping and smuggling crimes.

The doping network was uncovered in December 2009 though a police operation dubbed Operation Liquid which was carried out within the framework of the government's mandate to law enforcement agencies to fight organised crime in Sweden.

More than 300 police officers, as well as a number of officials from the Prosecution Authority (Tullverket), Swedish Customs (Tullverket), the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), and the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogden) participated in the raid which was the largest of its kind in Sweden.

Around 40 people were arrested in nine cities across Sweden, many of them bodybuilders.

Some smuggled in and sold doping materials, while other simply used the substances themselves.

In connection with the raid, police confiscated the largest among of doping substances and equipment ever recovered in a police operation.

“All of the confiscated material filled a huge underground storage facility in Sundsvall and a number of police storage facilities were used as well,” detective Henrik Blusi, a police officer involved in carrying out surveillance on the network, told the TT news agency.

Police remained uncertain of what sort of impact the raid may have had on the market.

According to Blusi, police continue to hunt down buyers of doping material supplied by the network.

“We've now surveyed the buyers and have sent out a list to police agencies around the country of nearly 1,000 people who purchased doping material,” he said.

“They can expect fines and other sanctions.”

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:21 August 4, 2011 by Svensksmith
This story is dopey.
15:42 August 4, 2011 by conboy
I think they were all anabolic steroidtypes!
16:48 August 4, 2011 by Great Scott
Do know that you can the words "doping materials" more times in this article than you can on Google. Why can't The Local use English in its reports, after all it does say the news in English.
17:32 August 4, 2011 by conboy
You might be right considering the incorrect grammar you employ. Anyway I condemn the use of "doping materials."
18:49 August 4, 2011 by Great Scott
@conboy

You are quite right, I saw the mistakes as soon as I hit submit. But it was too late to change, also you cannot double post or edit here. I was waiting for someone like you to come along, so I could put it right.

It should have said "Do you know that you can find the words "doping materials" more times in this article than you can on Google. Why can't The Local use English in its reports, after all it does say the news in English".
19:26 August 4, 2011 by Streja
What is wrong with this country! All the Swedes in this country are on dope! And how can they be put in prison for only 7 years! Why isn't it 7 years for rape???!!!
20:08 August 4, 2011 by Svensksmith
And how many years for aiding and abetting a hedgehog?
20:13 August 4, 2011 by Great Scott
Ah Streja, you have poped up again. I am still waiting for your answer to this.

http://www.thelocal.se/35284/20110801/

#63
21:12 August 4, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@Great Scott # 5

And The Local also has a slogan that says "Sweden's News in English" and they publish whatever "breaking news" happens in another country as long as a Swede is involved, not Sweden. As far @Streja is concern, just give her time. You are pressing her too much and perhaps she will be in the need to consult with Frohm, for not starting to relax with dope.
21:46 August 4, 2011 by Smallnose
Does this imply we lost our Top 12 ranking next year at the Olympics?
22:20 August 4, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
21:46 August 4, 2011 by Smallnose

But of course!
23:36 August 4, 2011 by conboy
Streja did not "Pope up" she popped up there is no need to bring religion into it and anyway we have enough feminist popes in Sweden.
01:00 August 5, 2011 by Smallnose
I get puzzled by the numbers: 57 convicted, 26 fined, 40 arrested, 70 charged. If 40 were arrested, 17 or (30? 960?) are still on the loose?
09:24 August 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
01:00 August 5, 2011 by Smallnose

TL does not know the Fibonacci theory of numbers. I already got used to its way or reporting news. Relax, just relax. The ones on the loose are some around us.
14:47 August 5, 2011 by Playmaker
well i think it is sad. how much money did they spend to catch someone using what there own body produces. Testostorne (sic) this is one thing that sucks about not having personal freedom. if someone wants to use test or weed then let them. it seems that people who use test are some of the healty people out there and normaly dont drink. if it is not in sports and for personal use who cares? make your own decisions in life. not everyone agrees with gay marriage but who am i to say no you cant marry same with weed. Alchool and tobacoo is much worse. but dam test is made in your own body how is it illegal
15:39 August 5, 2011 by Streja
I was being ironic.
15:48 August 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
15:39 August 5, 2011 by Streja # 16

Do not excuse unnecessarily. Keep on with us. You might not have some times bright comments, but you do not go around insulting people like more and more is becomming the usual thing to to (at) (on) (in) TL threads. You know, people who insult you, but when you retaliate, they are the ones who feel insulted and then, everything turns out to convert into a never ending story.
16:24 August 5, 2011 by conboy
It's all hydraulic really!
19:45 August 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
16:24 August 5, 2011 by conboy #18

It is all hydraulic, kafkanian, swedanian an' localian. tar fer yaw comment. I needed a bostin loff.
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