Doping will be criminal offence in Russia

Tue May 24, 2016 3:16pm EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is to bring in legislation that will mean individuals found guilty of doping are punished under the country's criminal code, according to Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.

"We have taken the decision to introduce this special law to make doping, and those attempting to take performance-enhancing drugs, a criminal offence," Mutko told reporters on Tuesday.

He said that on Friday the Government had backed a plan to bring in the ruling through the Russian State Duma, the upper legislative chamber.

Mutko declined to give a time frame for the law to be implemented or details of the expected punishments.

The TASS news agency said that, depending on the offence, those found breaking the law could be fined a maximum of three million rubles ($45,051) or jailed for up to five years.

Russia was suspended from international athletics in November after an investigation uncovered damning evidence of widespread doping and corruption.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said on Tuesday that it had been informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that re-checks of samples from the 2008 Beijing Games showed 14 of the country's athletes had returned positive tests.

"We need to create an anti-doping system which everyone has faith in, in order to not return to Sochi (2014), Beijing or London (2012)," said Mutko.   Continued...

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko gestures during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev/File Photo