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MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Next year, Russia may introduce criminal responsibility for manipulations with doping samples, the Russian Olympic chief said on Thursday.
"We have introduced a responsibility for encouraging athletes into taking doping, the next logical step will be to introduce a punishment for all those involved in doping manipulations," Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), said.
The official added that it was "quite possible" that the relevant draft law will be passed by the country’s lawmakers next year.
In late November, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill making the encouragement to use doping a criminal offense.
The bill was initiated by the United Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) political parties and stipulates a fine of up to 300,000 rubles or a fine equal to six-month income of a person guilty of inducing an athlete into doping consumption.
A person found guilty of encouraging an athlete into doping rule violations could be also suspended from his or her professional activities up to three years.