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US Senate passes Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act

A doping probe. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Nov 17, 2020, TASS. The US Senate has passed the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2019 (RADA) that will hold accountable individuals involved in schemes used for systematically violating anti-doping rules, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said, TASS reported.

The Act, which was passed unanimously in the US House of Representatives in October of last year, “will provide the tools needed to protect clean athletes and hold accountable international doping conspiracies that defraud sport, sponsors and that harm athletes,” USADA said.

“The Act establishes criminal penalties for systems that carry out doping-fraud schemes that rob athletes, citizens and businesses. It also protects whistleblowers from retaliation and provides restitution for athletes defrauded by conspiracies to dope. It is a monumental day in the fight for clean sport worldwide and we look forward to seeing the Act soon become law and help change the game for clean athletes for the good,” it noted.

The Rodchenkov Act will apply to all competitions held in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules. Under this Act Washington will be able to prosecute any person on the globe, involved in competitions where the US is present, be it an athlete or sponsor. However, the Act won’t apply to North America’s professional leagues (the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL), which have not adopted WADA’s code. The violators face a $1 mln fine and a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars.

The Act is named after former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, who is the key whistleblower for WADA in the case on doping in Russian sport. The document will enter into force if the US president signs it within 10 days.

Earlier, WADA had opposed the adoption of the Act on numerous occasions, voicing concerns over its extraterritorial nature. Besides, the global agency said the document could duplicate laws in various jurisdictions, thus destabilizing the anti-doping structure stipulating a range of single rules for athletes around the world.

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