Russia Passes Anti-Doping Bill with Prison Sentences for Coaches

The Russian State Duma (Russia‘s elected parliament) unanimously passed a bill this week that includes prison terms for coaches and officials found guilty of coercing athletes into using performance-enhancing drugs.

According to the Associated Press, the new law will penalize coaches and officials with fines of up to 300,000 rubles ($4,700) or up to a year in prison. The bill also entails stricter punishments for coaches who force athletes to dope through threats or violence or in cases where an athlete suffers health issues as a result of performance enhancers.

However, athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs will face no sanctions.

The bill comes on the heels of the announcement that Dr. Richard McLaren will release the second half of his now-famous “McLaren Report” in early December. Findings of the original report included evidence that the Moscow laboratory worked to protect doped Russian athletes, evidence of a unique sample swapping methodology at a Sochi laboratory, as well as alleged proof of manipulation by the Ministry of Sport regarding analytical results.

Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov, who also holds a seat on the Duma, called the bill ““an answer to our foreign critics who accused our country of a certain supposed government project to support doping.”

The state-sponsored doping”accusations” Zhukov refers to are strongly supported by the facts of the report.

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About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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