Italian police raid alleged doping ring


ROME -- Italian police have arrested Serbia's former national cycling coach in an alleged doping ring involving both professional and amateur riders in northeastern Italy.

Police in Padua said in a statement Thursday that another 30 people were suspected of being involved in the doping ring, including 12 professional cyclists, executives of pharmaceutical companies and three directors of cycling teams. They are suspected of smuggling banned substances, including the banned blood booster CERA.

Police allege that Alexandar Nikacevic, the former Serbia coach, had a central role in the ring. Most of the other suspects were Italian.

The operation was conducted by police in Padua, a city about 30 miles west of Venice.