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European 5000m champion arrested in doping raid

Ilias Fifa was arrested in Barcelona on Wednesday as part of a probe, sources of the investigation confirmed.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: Adam Davy

REIGNING EUROPEAN 5000M champion Ilias Fifa was arrested in Barcelona on Wednesday as part of a doping probe, sources of the investigation confirmed.

Fifa, born in Morocco but who has represented Spain since 2015, was arrested at his home on Wednesday morning in Santa Coloma de Gramenet on the outskirts of the Catalan capital.

The 28-year-old is just one of a number of arrests being carried out in operations “for crimes against public health and the use of medications with great danger to health” said a statement from the Catalan High Court of Justice.

The Court also confirmed the operation carried out on Wednesday began with a police investigation back in June.

Fifa took advantage of Mo Farah’s absence to claim European gold at the 2016 European Championships in Amsterdam.

That had been the crowning glory in an inspiring rise to fame as Fifa arrived in Spain 11 years ago as an immigrant hiding in a truck.

“This Federation is fully aware of the damage that doping does to the credibility and image of our sport and is firmly committed to the fight against this scourge,” the Spanish athletics federation said in a statement.

“We will continue to fight to eradicate it, thus protecting athletes who compete in a clean and fair manner.”

– © AFP 2017

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