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Trump signs Rodchenkov Act on criminal responsibility for doping

"The Act imposes criminal sanctions on certain persons involved in international doping fraud conspiracies and provides restitution for victims of such conspiracies," the White House said
US President Donald Trump AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
US President Donald Trump
© AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

WASHINGTON, December 5. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday the so-called Rodchenkov Act, a bill that envisages criminal responsibility for doping violations during events with the participation of US athletes, the White House press service said.

"The Act imposes criminal sanctions on certain persons involved in international doping fraud conspiracies and provides restitution for victims of such conspiracies," the White House press service said in a statement.

Trump said in a statement that the document requires certain executive agencies, including the Department of Justice, to share information with the United States Anti-Doping Agency "with regard to any investigation related to a potential violation of section 3 of this Act."

"I appreciate that section 6 of the Act provides an exception to this disclosure requirement for information that would affect the ‘integrity of a criminal investigation,’ but the exception may not cover all information that is protected by executive privilege," the document reads. "My Administration will treat section 6 of the Act consistent with the President's constitutional authority to control the dissemination of information, the disclosure of which could impair national security, foreign relations, law enforcement, or performance of the President's constitutional duties."

On November 17, the Senate passed the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (RADA), which empowers the United States to pursue criminal prosecution of violators of anti-doping rules around the world. The act was named after a former director of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, who is positioned as WADA’s chief informer in the case of doping violations in Russian sports. The Rodchenkov Act applies to all competitions where the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules are in place, however, professional North American leagues such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) won’t be targeted by this law because they are not regulated by the WADA Code.

Violators face a fine of up to $1 million and a prison term of up to 10 years.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on November 19 the Rodchenkov Act may morph into a dangerous instrument by the United States that could be wielded to stifle global sports achievements, which the US deems as unwanted. In her words, the US authorities will be guided mostly by political motives when deciding on whether the act should be applied.

"We all know it, and we have seen it many times. This is an extremely dangerous trend that leads to degradation of global sports," Zakharova said.