The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued a statement today, indicating its opposition to the criminalization of “doping”, by instead pushing for both offenders and those who traffic and supply the drugs to penalized rather than incarcerated.
The president of WADA, Craig Reedie, previously backed calls for athletes to be sanctioned under the rules of their respective sport, but has otherwise kept from calling upon the criminal prosecution of said offenders.
“WADA does not wish to interfere in the sovereign right of any government to make laws for its people,” the agency said in a statement.
“However the Agency believes that the sanction process for athletes, which includes a right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), is a settled process, accepted by all governments of the world, and further that the sanctions for a doping violation by an athlete, which now includes a longer, four-year period of ineligibility, have been globally accepted by sport and government.
“As such, the Agency does not believe that doping should be made a criminal offence for athletes.”
In November 2014, the German government announced plans to pass legislation that would see convicted offenders face up to three years in prison, while coaches and suppliers would face up to 10 years.
Conversely, the president of cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), Brian Cookson says he agrees with the principle of “dopers” being handed jail terms, to wit: “Doping is a criminal offense, and so you should pursue and punish it harshly.”
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