U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) introduced this week the bipartisan, bicameral Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (RADA) is named for Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the Russian whistleblower who exposed his country’s state-sponsored doping scandal, according to a news release from Burgess’ office.
“Athletes who compete honestly should never have victory seized from them by those who have used performing-enhancing drugs,” Burgess said. “The World Anti-Doping Agency’s most recent decision to give Russia a free pass for its state-sponsored doping scandal in 2014 clearly conveys that leaders of international sport governance refuse to uphold the integrity of competition.”
The bill would establish criminal penalties for participating in a scheme to influence a major international sport competition where U.S. athletes compete or U.S. entities are stakeholders through prohibited substances or methods, according to Burgess’ office. It also would provide restitutions to victims of such conspiracies, protect whistleblowers from retaliation, and facilitate coordination with the United States Anti-Doping Agency to preserve the integrity of competition.
“As hardworking athletes who play by the rules have experienced, the current framework is fundamentally ill-equipped to defend clean athletes and prevent doping fraud,” Burgess said. “Russia’s doping scandal not only harmed clean international athletes, but also hurt its own athletes. It is time to restore a level playing field and ensure that the rights of U.S. and all clean athletes are respected, and the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act will help to avert fraud and protect our athletes.”
You can read the full text of the bill here.
Burgess represents Texas’ 26th district, which includes Denton County and part of Tarrant County.