Aden is coach to athletes including world 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba

Jama Aden, coach to athletes including world 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba, has been arrested in Spain as part of an anti-doping operation.

The joint operation is said to have been carried out by Catalan police, the Spanish anti-doping agency (AEPSAD) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Monday (June 20).

In a statement, the IAAF said that Aden’s arrest follows a “lengthy investigation” which began in 2013.

According to the Press Association, Aden and a Moroccan physiotherapist were arrested at a hotel in Sabadell, where EPO is reported to have been found in the physiotherapist’s room.

Ethiopian Dibaba, who was named female IAAF world athlete of 2015, broke the world 1500m record in Monaco last year when she clocked 3:50.07 and went on to claim the world 1500m title in Beijing as well as 5000m bronze, although there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Dibaba.

A former elite middle-distance runner with a one mile of best 3:56.82 who represented Somalia at the 1984 Olympics, Aden had been based in the English city of Sheffield for 17 years before he took up a coaching position in Qatar in 2010.

As well as Dibaba, he coached Abubaker Kaki of Sudan to two world indoor 800m titles, whereas back in the late 1980s and early 1990s he helped guide fellow Somali runner Abdi Bile to a world 1500m title in Rome with a performance that effectively brought to an end the period of British middle-distance dominance.

“The arrest today of distance running coach Jama Aden follows a lengthy investigation by the IAAF which began in 2013, working in close cooperation with Interpol, the Spanish authorities including the Spanish National Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD), Spanish police and other organisations,” read an IAAF statement.

“The IAAF will use all available resources and powers to protect clean athletes and the integrity of our sport. This includes targeting and investigating individuals and coaches who are intent on exploiting athletes and promoting the use of prohibited substances.

“The IAAF will not be making further comment on the ongoing investigation.”