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Russian Athletes Found Guilty of Tainting Doping Samples Could Face Three Years in Jail

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A Rio 2016 Olympic Games drug testing lab. Photo: Rio2016.com

Athletes and officials found guilty of manipulating samples could be jailed for up to three years as part of a proposal from Russia’s State Duma aimed at combating the country’s doping problem.

Dmitry Svishchyov, a member of the Duma Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, told Russia’s official news agency TASS that the bill would be submitted for discussion in the near future.

It comes amid continued attempts from Russia to criminalize doping.

Svishchyov warned, however, that the sanctions for the tainting of anti-doping samples included in the proposal are likely to be reduced to imprisonment of just one year.

This was the case with the recent anti-doping bill in Russia, passed earlier this month, where prison terms for coaches found guilty of coercing athletes into taking performance enhancing drugs were introduced.

Those found responsible for athletes taking outlawed substances, regardless of their consent, could face a fine of one million roubles under the bill.

A two year “restriction of freedom” or a one-year prison sentence could also be issued.

Svishchyov said he had originally asked for a jail sentence of three-years but admitted this had been changed by the Government, as had been suggested.

“The Government sent amendments to the bill ‘for encouragement into doping’ where it recommended that the term be cut to one year,” he told TASS.

“I believe that the same will be in this case and our proposal will be amended.

“If we have introduced criminal liability for encouragement and coercion [into doping], then the same punishment should be introduced for falsification with [doping] samples.

“This will stop and sober up athletes and show that falsification is not worth doing for athletes to become medal holders for a while.

“If athletes themselves are involved in the falsification of samples, this law will be applicable to them as well.”

The latest motion from the State Duma comes ahead of the publication of the second part of the McLaren Report next month.

Russia, currently still suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Paralympic Committee, are accused of illegally swapping tainted urine samples for fake ones at events including their home Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is alleged that more than 15 medal winners are implicated.

As a result of the report, Russia’s team for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was significantly reduced, while the entire nation was banned from the Paralympics the following month.

An anti-doping Commission headed by honorary International Olympic Committee member Vitaly Smirnov has also been set-up to investigate wrongdoing.

By Liam Morgan

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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