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US senators introduce bill to criminalize doping conspiracies

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Washington (AFP)

Two US senators introduced legislation on Friday that would criminalize international sports doping conspiracies that affect major international competitions.

The bill introduced by senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island is named after Grigory Rodchenkov -- the Moscow laboratory director who blew the whistle on a Russian doping campaign at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

In announcing the measure, Whitehouse said the United States "must hold the crooked and corrupt accountable whenever we can. That means forcefully confronting Russia's use of corruption as a tool of foreign policy."

The legislation, which would establish criminal penalties on idividuals involved in doping fraud conspiracies, is similar to a measure introduced earlier this year in the US House of Representatives.

It would establish criminal penalties for participating in a scheme in commerce to influence a major international sport competition through prohibited substances or methods.

Penalties will include fines of up to $1 million or imprisonment of up to 10 years, depending on the violation.

It also provides for restitution to victims of such conspiracies, for protection of whistleblowers from retaliation and for US agencies involved in the fight against doping to coordinate and share information with the US Anti-Doping Agency.

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