Dismantled: Criminal organisation in Spain dedicated to manufacturing medicines for athletes

Dismantled: Criminal organisation in Spain dedicated to manufacturing medicines for athletes. Image: Guardia Civil / Interior Ministry.

The criminal gang were dedicated to the import, manufacture and distribution of medicines prohibited to athletes (SARMs).

On Wednesday, March 1, the Civil Guard confirmed that Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are a class of therapeutic compounds that have similar anabolic properties to anabolic steroids, but with reduced androgenic (producing male characteristics) properties.

As an example, the androgen receptor is activated by binding androgens, such as testosterone. Unlike anabolic steroids, which bind to androgen receptors in many tissues all over the body, individual SARMs selectively bind androgen receptors in certain tissues, but not in others.

In medical settings, this could be very useful for stimulating specific tissue growth like muscle and bone, while avoiding unwanted side effects in other tissues like the liver or skin.

The operation, called Sahagun-Aran, has included actions in the provinces of Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Madrid, Granada, Murcia and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, achieving the dismantling of the organization and the apprehension of large numbers of SARMs, as well as material for its manufacture, packaging and shipment.


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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]