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Russia attempts a further crackdown on doping, as the State Duma adopts new legislation

Russia attempts a further crackdown on doping, as the State Duma adopts new legislation

MOSCOW, November 24, 2011 - In attempts to further strengthen the Russian anti-doping movement ahead of the upcoming Sochi and London Olympics, on Thursday, the State Duma (Parliament) adopted the amendments to the State Administrative Offenses Code. The new article of law concerning the penalties for those encouraging the use of doping in sport was creative on the initiative of the Government and was first put forward before the main legislative body of the country (the Duma) in June this year.

While the anti-doping article of the aforementioned Code does not introduce new measures against the individual athletes using the illegal substances, it does, however, introduce new financial and administrative punishments for those encouraging or forcing the athletes in question to use doping.

Ordinary citizens found guilty of encouragement or forceful use of doping are set to pay the fine of 1,000 - 3,000 rubles (approx. 33 - 100 USD). The individuals directly involved in the sports domain - officials, coaches or doctors - are to be fined 20,000 to 50,000 rubles (665- 1665 USD).

The new legislation stresses the particular importance of prevention doping use by athletes that are minors at the time (under 18 y.o.). The limit of the financial penalty for the individuals found to be involved in forcing a minor to use doping are set to 3,000 - 5,000 rubles (100 - 165 USD) for those not directly involved in sport, while the minimum penalty for the sporting officials is set to 30,000 (1000 USD) within the above-mentioned limits.

Disqualifications are merely set as alternative methods of punishment, the normal period being 1-2 years, rising up to 3 in case of involvement of a minor in the doping case. Importantly, the new article of the Administrative Offences code does not set aside additional punishments for the sportsman using the doping substances and is considered solely as additional legislation to the already existing regulations. Russia has adopted the International Convention Against Doping in Sport in late 2006, and has previously administered the anti-doping decisions according to the WADA and respective sport federations' rules.

Notably, the newly introduced the financial sanctions would also concern the owners of animals involved in sports competitions, such as racehorses.

(Source: AIPAS)