Irish Olympic hopeful Leon Reid arrested and charged in UK with drug offences

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Reid was arrested as part of a police investigation into the large-scale supply of drugs, possession of firearms and money laundering.

IRISH SPRINTER LEON Reid is among five men to be charged with a number of offences following a UK police investigation into large-scale supply of drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition, and money laundering. 

In a statement, the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit said Reid was among five men arrested as part of Operation Venetic.

Four of the five men arrested appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on 31 March. Reid – with a registered address at Longmead Terrace, Bath – has been charged with, “Conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), permitting premises to be used in the production of class A (crack cocaine), concealing criminal property, and acquiring criminal property.”

Reid has been released on bail and is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 12 May.

A fifth man failed to appear for the hearing, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. 

In a statement, Athletics Ireland said, “Athletics Ireland has been notified today that an Irish international athlete, Leon Reid has been charged with a criminal offence outside the jurisdiction of Ireland. Athletics Ireland cannot comment further until all elements of due process have been completed.”

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Reid was expected to represent Ireland in the men’s 200-metres at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Reid once represented Great Britain in athletics and won a silver medal over 200m at the European Junior Championships in 2013, but switched his allegiance to Ireland in 2018. 

The South West Regional Organised Crime Unit describe Operation Venetic as an investigation “into large scale supply of drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition, and money laundering.” 

File photo of Leon Reid.

File photo of Leon Reid.

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