by Tim Korso
The bill, adopted by the US Senate, would allow American judges to issue sentences over the use of doping by foreign athletes, if they took part in championships attended by US athletes.
Russia sees the new US anti-doping bill, named after WADA whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, as Washington’s attempt to extend its jurisdiction to other countries and strongly disagrees with such a practice, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
“We took note of the bill’s adoption by the US Senate. We frown upon any such attempts by the US to extend its jurisdiction abroad, not only in the context of this specific bill“, Peskov added.
The Rodchenkov anti-doping bill passed through the US Senate with bipartisan support on 16 November. The bill would allow American judges to review and issue sentences on cases over the use of doping by foreign athletes during championships attended by US athletes.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has expressed concerns over the bill’s adoption, suggesting it might create overlapping laws existing in different countries, as well as scare off potential whistleblowers, who might be afraid to be prosecuted if they confess their and others’ crimes. The agency added that the potential US law might also trigger a political response in other countries in the form of similar bills targeting athletes in specific states.
WADA Whistleblower Rodchenkov
The bill was named after the former head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, Grigory Rodchenkov, who claimed that his organisation, purportedly with the help of the nation’s sports authorities, systematically meddled with doping probes of Russian athletes, allegedly concealing the use of prohibited drugs. Moscow strongly denied the accusations pointing out the lack of evidence to support Rodchenkov’s claims.
WADA conducted an investigation in 2016 into Rodchenkov’s accusations, ruling that RADA allegedly engaged in concealing positive doping results with the help of the Russian authorities, resulting in the country’s disqualification from the Rio Olympic Games. Some Russian athletes, however, took part in the games under a neutral flag.