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Dutch Olympic athlete jailed for drug trafficking

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By Reuters
Dutch Olympic athlete jailed for drug trafficking
Athletics - IAAF World Indoor Championships 2018 - Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, Britain - March 2, 2018 Switzerland's Lea Sprunger wins her Women’s 400m heat ahead of Netherlands' Madiea Ghafoor REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files   -   Copyright  PHIL NOBLE(Reuters)

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch Olympic athlete Madiea Ghafoor has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail after 2 million pounds ($2.58 million) worth of ecstasy tablets and crystal meth were found in the boot of her car in Germany, DPA news agency has reported.

Ghafoor, 27, was stopped at a border check in Elten in June where 50kg of ecstasy, 2kg of crystal meth and 11,950 euros in cash were seized by police, the report said.

The athlete, who ran for the Netherlands in the 4×400m relay at the 2016 Olympic Games, pleaded not guilty to the charges at Kleve District Court and said she thought she was carrying doping materials, the German news agency said.

The Dutch Athletics Union said it was shocked by the case and would investigate Ghafoor’s claim concerning doping materials to ascertain who else might have been involved.

“We are stunned by the judgement,” a statement on the organisation’s website said. “With the ruling of the German court, the Athletics Union rejects the actions of Ghafoor.

“The Athletics Union condemns any use or trade in doping or drugs and fully commits itself to the Dutch doping law.

“The case has been transferred to the Doping Authority to investigate the extent to which the doping legislation has been violated.”

Ghafoor refused to reveal who she was transporting the drugs for and said she feared for the safety of her family, DPA said.

(Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford)