Italian nurses in cyclist doping scandal

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Photo: Junta Informa/Flickr
17:53 CET+01:00
Four nurses in Pistoia, northern Italy, have been accused of stealing medicine from the hospital pharmacy to sell on the black market to the town's amateur cycling community.

A total of 22 people are being investigated for embezzlement, abuse of office, fraud, and the receiving of stolen goods between June 2011 and July 2013, La Repubblica reported. 

Police uncovered a range of performance-enhancing drugs, including EPO (a hormone that helps produce red blood cells, which boosts performance by increasing the amount of oxygen the blood can carry to muscles), a growth hormone and a number of others stolen from the hospital’s pharmacy.

Each dose cost between €150 and €400, depending on the type of drug and the size of the dosage.

Last July, a nurse was stopped on various occasions by police as she transported hospital material in a car to a nursing home in Porretta Terme, Bologna, where she had a second job.

Staff at the nursing home, who were aware of where the material came from, were also reported to police for the receiving of stolen goods.

During investigations police also discovered that hospital staff had helped fast-track friends for medical examinations and diagnostic tests without being properly registered.

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Six members of staff at the hospital were arrested for these additional offences and eight patients who obtained blood tests, X-rays, scans, and appointments with specialists without booking or paying prescription charges.

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