House approves DeGette anti-doping bill ahead of 2028 Olympic Games
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved legislation to provide the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency the funding and tools it needs to ensure the world’s top athletes are able to compete on a level playing field when the Olympics returns to the United States in 2028.
The bill – introduced by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) – will fund the anti-doping agency through 2029, ensuring the agency has the resources it needs to prepare for, and oversee, the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.
It also requires that the agency allocate a portion of its funding to programs designed to further protect young athletes from the pressures of using performance enhancing drugs, and empowers the agency to work directly with the other various federal law enforcement agencies to prevent the use of performance enhancing substances by athletes at all levels.
“As the host of the 2028 Olympic Games, it will be our responsibility to ensure every athlete here is able to compete on a level playing field,“ DeGette said. “This legislation should send a very clear message that anyone thinking about cheating their way onto a podium in 2028 needs to think twice.”
DeGette - who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Committee, which directly oversees our nation’s Olympic committees - is the most senior lawmaker from the state of Colorado, which is home to both the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
In addition to the legislation approved today to continuing funding the USADA through the remainder of the decade, DeGette introduced a separate piece of legislation in January 2019 – known as the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act – that would make it a crime to engage in any sort of doping scheme at any international sports competition with ties to the U.S.
Under the terms of DeGette’s bill, anyone involved in such a scheme at an event that’s broadcast in the U.S., sponsored by a U.S. company, or in which a U.S. athlete participates, could be fined up to $1,000,000 or imprisoned for up to ten years, depending on the nature of the offense.
The bill named in honor of Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory who made headlines in 2016 when he came forward with information that exposed a Russian state-sponsored doping scheme at the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, is still pending before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The legislation approved today to fund USADA now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Text of the legislation is available here.