US Senate passes bill to fine and jail persons involved in doping in sport

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    The United States Senate has passed a bill that will allow US officials to penalize anyone involved in doping at international sporting events with fines of up to US$1m or up to 10 years in jail.

    The law is called the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, named after Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, specifically allows the US to seek prosecution for doping conspirators at competitions involving American athletes, sponsors or broadcasters.

    According to BBC Sport, it is set to be signed into law.

    US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart called the legislation “monumental” however, the World Anti-Doping Agency is concerned.

    WADA believes the bill could undermine the global anti-doping effort and questions why the law excludes US professional and college athletes, when they were included in the original draft.

    It also says it was concerned the bill could deter whistleblowers from coming forward if there was a risk of prosecution.

    Rodchenkov is the former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory who fled Russia in 2015 with detailed evidence of the state-sponsored doping regime he masterminded.

    This led to Russia’s ban from the 2018 Winter Olympics.