12 Mar 2020
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) welcomes the initiative of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to address the issue of anti-doping in law.
The IOC commends the fact that the draft legislation is concentrating on the athletes’ ‘entourage’. This is absolutely in line with IOC policy, because we see that a secretive network around the athlete is implicated in most cases of doping. This network can include coaches, agents, dealers, managers, officials from governments or sports organisations, doctors, physiotherapists or others. The athletes themselves already get sanctioned with long-term suspensions according to the World Anti-Doping Code. We must apply the same strict sanctions to their entourage. In this respect, this legislation would be helpful.
In this context, the IOC continues to encourage the US professional leagues, in which the most popular American athletes are playing, and the US college sport organization (NCAA), from which the vast majority of the most successful US athletes are coming, to apply the World Anti-Doping Code. This would then make their exemption from this draft legislation obsolete, and would be a most welcome major step towards an international level playing field with regard to our joint fight against doping.
We also hope that during the ongoing legislative procedure, the issue of the extra territorial jurisdiction, which the draft of the law attributes to the US authorities, will be addressed.
This should be done in a way which ensures a worldwide harmonized approach. This is vital for a successful fight against doping.
With these two measures:
- applying the World Anti-doping Code to the US professional leagues and NCAA;
- harmonizing globally the prosecution and sanctioning of the athletes’ entourage;
this legislative initiative would greatly contribute to the equal treatment of all athletes around the world and to the strengthening of our global fight against doping.