US Passes Rodchenkov Anti Doping Act

Anti doping consequences just became a lot more serious with the United States creating criminal and civil repercussions for doping conspiracies in “major international sport competitions”.

The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2019 passed into law last week. Those involved in doping conspiracies in certain international competitions involving American athletes can now face, in addition to sport specific anti-doping consequences, both civil and criminal prosecution.

The Act defines ‘major international sport competitions’ broadly capturing a sweeping category of sports competitions where US athletes compete where there is some financial sponsorship or broadcasting connection to the US.  The term is defined as follows:

(A) a competition in which—

(i) 1 or more United States athletes and 3 or more athletes from other countries participate; and

(ii (I) the competition organizer or sanctioning body receives sponsorship or other financial support from an organization doing business in the United States; or

(II) the competition organizer or sanctioning body receives compensation for the right to broadcast the competition in the United States; and

(B) includes a competition that is a single event or a competition that consists of a series of events held at different times which, when combined, qualify an athlete or team for an award or other recognition.

Section 4 of RADA creates an offence 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.”

The term “scheme in commerce” means any scheme effectuated in whole or in part through the use in interstate or foreign commerce of any facility for transportation or communication.

The penalties are steep including a potential fine of up to $250,000 if the person is an individual or $1,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual and a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years.

The act also has a lengthy limitation period of 10 years.

Lastly the act allows athletes who have been defrauded by a violation of RADA by others to take civil action to be compensated for their losses.

The full text of the act can be found here.

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