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Russian State Duma passes bill on criminal punishment for coercion of athletes into doping

The maximum punishment is three years in jail

MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma has adopted in the second and third final reading a bill establishing criminal punishment for coercion of athletes into doping.

The bill, authored by United Russia and LDPR legislators, was eased somewhat in contrast to the original version after the adoption of government-proposed amendments. Duma Deputy Speaker Aleksandr Zhukov said the sanctions remained rather harsh, though.

Coaches, sports physicians, or other specialists who may try to force athletes to use outlawed substances and techniques will be fined 300,000 rubles or an equivalent of six-months’ wage and other incomes. A three-year professional disqualification and twelve-month restriction of freedom are possible.

The same offense committed by a group of individuals acting by prior conspiracy in relation to one or several athletes under age in combination of violence or threats of violence will entail a fine of 500,000 rubles or twelve months behind bars. Professional disqualification for three years is a possibility. Two-year restriction of freedom and professional disqualification for four years will be an alternative.

The coach, doctor or other sports and physical culture specialist who turn out responsible for athletes taking outlawed substances regardless of their consent should brace for a one-million-ruble fine, or restriction of freedom for two years, or a one-year prison term. Professional disqualification for a period of up to four years may follow.

The athlete’s negligent death or other grave effects will be punishable with three-year restriction of freedom, three years of forced labor or a three-year prison term. In all cases the judge can also prohibit the convict from taking certain jobs or indulging in certain activities for a period of five years.