MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The first criminal investigation has been launched in Russia under a new state anti-doping law, which stipulates criminal accountability for encouraging athletes to use banned performance enhancing substances, a spokesman for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) told TASS on Monday.
In November 2016, Russian legislators passed a law stipulating a criminal accountability for coaches, managers, members of medical staff or any other sports specialist encouraging an athlete into consuming banned performance enhancing drugs.
The RUSADA spokesman told TASS that according to data provided by the Russian Interior Ministry one criminal probe was launched under the new legislation based on the results of inspections carried out in the first half of 2017.
The probe was initiated in regard to a medical staff member of an athlete in the Russian republic of Chuvashia. The names of the athlete and of the suspected member of the medical staff involved in the probe have not been disclosed.
"The RUSADA Investigative Department together with members of one of the Russian Interior Ministry’s anti-drug departments carried out a set of measures to clamp down on illegal activities of the athlete’s medical staff," the spokesman said adding that "as a result, a criminal probe was launched."
Two months ago, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko announced that the law on criminal accountability for doping abuse in Russia was active and could be enforced at any time.
The law was initiated last year by United Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) political parties and is stipulates criminal liability for encouraging the violation of anti-doping regulations in sports.
The law stipulates a fine of up to one million rubles ($17,500), or a court-imposed restriction of freedom for a period of two years, or a one-year prison term with the further prohibition of professional activities for the term of one to four years.
If the crime results in the death of an athlete or in any other serious health problems, the defendant found guilty of encouraging a person into consuming prohibited substances may face restrictive penalties (suspension of professional licensing, access to employment, restricted movement) for a period of up to three years, or three years of punitive labor or community service, or a three-year prison term. A possible suspension from professional activities for a period of five years may also be introduced in this case.