The final text of the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Law 2018, approved by the Congress of the United States. Says the proverb that late loves are the most intense. Something similar happens with the position of the United States in relation to doping. He arrives late but with unusual strength.
We can summarize this regulation indicating that, in the first place, the paradigm of linking health and doping has ended. For the North American Congress, as for the German one, in his moment, the relevant thing is not the health but the sport fraud like swindle for the rest of the competitors and for the organization of the sport activity. The hot packs are over, the problem is not one of health (it has always been extremely doubtful in its comparison with drugs or drugs and the voluntary and renounced essence of human health) is sports fraud and within that framework the Law Rodchenkov.
In this context, the criminalization of the doping activity is proceeded and prison sentences of up to five years and fines of 100,000 to 250,000 dollars are imposed, including in the criminal reproach the conspiracy (perpetrated by a group of five people) that reaches penalties up to 10 years in prison. Additionally, it is established that any person injured in his career, business or property can sue for civil effects in any district court of the USA. So far we could say that it is a reasonable legislative option, similar to that of other countries in our cultural environment.
What is, however, more relevant is the definition of the jurisdiction of the US Courts that is made in Section 4 of the Law that indicates that the prohibited acts are within the jurisdiction of the United States when: a) the crime is committed totally or partially in an international competition disputed in the USA, principle of territoriality of the criminal action that does not pose major difficulties; b) The offense is committed outside the United States and these two additional circumstances concur: that the crime is committed in relation to an international competition; or, that the offense occurs in or affects interstate or foreign commerce in the US.
This leads to a paradigm shift: it is not health, as we said, it is economic activity that defends itself in the doping norms and that defense is criminal and civil but, above all, it is of "universal jurisdiction". The demands in the US can affect or refer to competitions in its territorial scope or outside of it when it is the interstate or foreign commerce that is affected.
A turn, probably unexpected, but radical that should make us think about how much is left to the current model if the other countries imitate the Rodchenkov Law.
Alberto Olmedo is a tenured professor (Acred) of Administrative Law.