The United States Anti-Doping Agency assisted the Drug Enforcement Agency in a nationwide series of enforcement actions targeting the global underground trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, the DEA said Sept. 1.
The DEA reported "Operation Cyber Juice" saw more than 90 arrests and the seizure of 16 underground steroid labs, 134,000 steroid dosage units, 636 kilograms of raw steroid powder, and 8,200 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid. DEA officials said the vast majority of the substances were manufactured and trafficked from underground labs in China.
In its initial release the DEA did not mention any ties to horse racing.
USADA oversees drug testing for U.S. Olympic sports and legislation this year proposed having the agency oversee such testing in horse racing through the formation of the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Agency, an organization that would be made up of USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart, USADA board members, and industry representatives.
The DEA said it worked with USADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, and Europol. Tygart said such collaboration is key in cracking down on these operations.
"In the global fight against dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, collaboration between anti-doping organizations and law enforcement is vital. This joint investigation again demonstrates that we can work together to identify and hold accountable underground steroid suppliers and users who are committing crimes, and who may also be cheating clean athletes and sport," Tygart said. "The actions taken today will help to ensure that all athletes are safer, and any young athletes who are pressured to use these drugs to win in sport are not preyed upon by illegal drug dealers."
WADA director general David Howman said these types of global efforts are needed to combat the production and distribution of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
"It has become a public health issue, and therefore requires an international solution through partnerships and collaboration. By partnering with USADA and the DEA in this major steroid operation, WADA has been able to prevent potentially harmful steroid substances from getting into the hands of athletes looking for an edge," Howman said. "This is a good example of anti-doping and law enforcement working well together to further their own efforts of reducing doping and protecting public health."