An anti-doping bill was introduced to Congress on June 12 to make the use or distributing drugs during international sports events a punishable crime. The act offers fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and prison sentences of up to 10 years for those who make, distribute or use banned substances at sports events including four or more US athletes and other athletes from three or more countries.
Whistleblowers that expose doping schemes will also be protected under the act. When the legislation goes into effect, any wrongdoer will be able to say he’s unfairly persecuted in his own country for exposing doping-related activities to get American protection from justice at home. And athletes from different countries will have to prove their innocence in US, not national or international, courts. Inevitably, there’ll be problems with proof making US prosecutors politicized and enjoy extended authority to get the evidence they could go upon.
So, foreign athletes will be subject to American law outside US borders. Other countries, such as Germany, France, Kenya, and Spain, have anti-doping laws but their jurisdiction is limited to national territories. “There should not be an opportunity for states to engage in misconduct,” said Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) in his remarks during the bill’s introduction. The act actually says that US laws prevail everywhere in the world and everybody must comply. The cited justification is the unproportionally big American contribution ($2.3 million) to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.
As usual, Russia is the scapegoat. The bill is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, the Russian lab director known for spreading fake stories about alleged cheating at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
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