By Duncan Mackay |
The Rodchenkov Act, which would criminalize international doping fraud conspiracies and give American authorities unprecedented control over international sport, has been passed in the United States House of Representatives.
It is another important step forward for an Act named after Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.
The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (RADA) – as it is officially known – now needs to be passed by the US Senate before it is passed to American President Donald Trump, who must sign it before it officially becomes law.
It would give American agencies the power to pursue dopers through the courts in the same way they have chased corrupt football officials.
The proposed law is aimed at establishing criminal penalties for participating in “a scheme in commerce to influence a major international sport competition through prohibited substances or methods”.
This could apply to all major international sport competitions in which American athletes participate, as well as where organisers receive sponsorship from companies doing business in the US or are compensated for the right to broadcast their competition in the country.
Penalties will include fines of up to $1 million (£812,000/€907,000), or imprisonment of up to 10 years, depending on the offence.
“Today, we made history for the ideal of fair sport and all that it stands for,” Rodchenkov said.
“With the passage of the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, the fight against doping rises to a new level of efficacy.
“Until now, those who were behind the corrupt and fraudulent practices in manipulating doping programmes remained unpunished.
“With RADA, that can now change.
“RADA arms the United States and victims of this corruption with the legal tools to pursue and punish all actors who were previously untouchable.
“This legislation brings a long-awaited weapon to bring doping transgressions to a court of law, advancing our mission to achieve clean sport across borders.”
The Rodchenkov Act will also establish a private civil right of action for doping fraud, giving athletes who believe they have been defrauded by competitors taking drugs or entities involved in state-supported doping the right to take civil action.
As part of the Act, the US Attorney General will be encouraged to develop regulations by which the US Department of Justice will help private litigants obtain foreign evidence.
The Rodchenkov Act also pledges to to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.
“Sport and international games are close to my heart and to the hearts of citizens around the world and I am deeply grateful for the promise this bill holds to make fair sport a guaranteed right in our international community,” Rodchenkov said.
The full Act can be read by clicking here.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.