US Senate Passes the Anti-Doping Act 2019

Playing dirty – Scientific Scribbles
COPYRIGHT CREDITS university of Melbourne

The US Senate unanimously passed a bill on 22-10-2020 that would allow justice officials to impose criminal sanctions on individuals involved in international doping fraud conspiracies. This act, known as the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2019, would provide restitution to victims and require information sharing with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

AN ACT To impose criminal sanctions on certain persons involved in international doping fraud conspiracies, to provide restitution for victims of such conspiracies, and to require sharing of information with the United States AntiDoping Agency to assist its fight against doping, and for other purposes.

The bill would make it unlawful for any person other than an athlete to influence any major international sports competition by use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method. Anyone who violates the law would face imprisonment of no more than 10 years, as well as a fine of $250,000 if the person is an individual or $1 million if the defendant is not an individual. Additionally, any property that is used or intended to be used to violate the act, or was obtained in connection with it, may be seized and criminally forfeited.

SEC. 3. MAJOR INTERNATIONAL DOPING FRAUD CONSPIR ACIES. (a) IN GENERAL.—It shall be unlawful for any person, other than an athlete, to knowingly carry into effect, attempt to carry into effect, or conspire with any other person to carry into effect a scheme in commerce to influence by use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method any major international sports competition. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...SEC. 4. CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. (a) IN GENERAL.— 22 (1) CRIMINAL PENALTY.—Whoever violates section 3 shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment 24 for not more than 10 years, fined $250,000 if the person is an individual or $1,000,000 if the defend2 ant is other than an individual, or both.

The Bill which now awaits the approval of the President will have extra territorial Federal Jurisdiction suggesting that the laws will be applicable even beyond the American landmass.

The bill though is applicable only to events where one or more American Athletes are participating and the event rules are governed by WADA or World Anti-Doping Code 2003 regulations. This appears to be an attempt to harmonize the US laws as per the international anti dumping code

This initiative by the US Congress will empower the courts in US to go after both the promoters as well as the facilitators of doping in sports.

See the Code