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New Rodchenkov Act to Establish Criminal Penalties for Doping Use - US Senators

© AFP 2022 / JOHANNES EISELEAthletes compete in the Women 60 m Final event at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in the Ergo Arena in the Polish coastal town of Sopot, on March 9, 2014
Athletes compete in the Women 60 m Final event at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in the Ergo Arena in the Polish coastal town of Sopot, on March 9, 2014 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act would establish criminal penalties on individuals using doping to influence the results of major sports competitions, Helsinki Commissioner Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Senator Orrin Hatch said in a press release.

"The bipartisan legislation establishes criminal penalties on individuals involved in doping fraud conspiracies affecting major international competitions," the release said on Wednesday. "This bill is a long overdue step to deter and punish individuals and state actors who would attempt to defraud international competitions through doping."

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The senators newly introduced legislation aims to prevent Russia from sponsoring doping on the state level and alert others that such type of corruption would not be tolerated.

The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, named for the former head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, would establish penalties including fines of up to $1,000,000, or imprisonment of up to ten years. The bill would also provide restitution to victims of doping fraud, protect whistleblowers under the existing witness and informant protection laws, and share information with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), according to the text of the document.

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In 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of multiple doping violations and suspended the Moscow laboratory of RUSADA, the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency.

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The following year, Richard McLaren, the head of the WADA investigative team, presented a two-part report that alleged the existence of a state-supported doping program in Russia during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, after Rodchenkov, who fled to the United States, said that the laboratory was involved in developing and distributing banned performance-enhancing substances for the Russian athletes.

Russian officials have refuted the allegations of the state-run doping program, while admitting that Russian sports had some issues with doping abuse.

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