From Inside the Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have argued that the proposed Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act in the United States could put all athletes under the country’s criminal code, while highlighting the “very worrying” existing challenges of doping in American professional leagues.

The IOC’s assertion comes amid ongoing hearings in Washington D.C by the US Helsinki Commission, covering the impact of doping in international sport.

The Commission is tasked with “advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 57 countries”.

Last month two of the Commissioners, Sheila Jackson Lee and Michael Burgess, proposed the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, a bipartisan legislation.

Named after the former head of the Moscow Laboratory turned whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the law would seek to implement criminal penalties for doping at major international competitions.

It is claimed the act would establish sanctions for knowingly manufacturing, distributing and using performance-enhancing drugs.

This would apply to all major international competitions in which US athletes or organisations participate, with the aim of ensuring “international fraud” against Americans will not go unpunished.

The bill states that penalties will include fines of up to $1 million (£750,000/€850,000) or imprisonment of up to 10 years, depending on the offence.

A further part of the act would see the establishment of a private civil right of action for doping fraud.

The IOC has expressed concern at the potential impact of the move, while the organisation highlighted the “low level” of testing in professional leagues in the United States.

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