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Belarusian experts on criminal liability for doping

Sergei Samusev, Secretary General of the Belarusian Weightlifting Union, and Denis Muzhzhukhin, director of the National Anti-Doping Agency of Belarus, were the guests of the recent TV program Sports Week on the CTV. They have expressed their opinions on whether criminal liability should be introduced for doping in sport.

Do you think that the use of doping should be criminalized?

Sergei Samusev, Secretary General of the Belarusian Weightlifting Union:

If we say that the rules of the game must be in place, then they must be for everyone. If the fight against doping acquires a global scale, then all countries must apply that the same measures should be applied for all athletes for the use of doping. Because it is not right when 90% of countries do not use criminal responsibility and Belarus goes ahead of the whole planet and applies criminal responsibility, tightening our demands on our athletes and punishing them. It is unfair. Responsibility should be the same for all athletes.

Denis, what can you say?

Denis Muzhzhukhin, director of the National Anti-Doping Agency of Belarus:
I agree that there should be more uniform rules in the world, but as for our proposals, I don't think criminal liability should be imposed for the use of doping. But if we are talking about compulsion to dope, this could be the reason for criminal liability. Because often someone from the athlete's staff pursues their own selfish goals and the athlete, not knowing that, uses dope under the guise of vitamins and so on. As a result, the coach receives a good salary, categories and other bonuses. This is the essence of our proposals.

That decree which we submitted for public discussion is aimed primarily at protecting the athlete in order to create an environment for them so that there is no unintentional use of doping.

The athlete in itself is quite serious about it since they face 4-year bans. Although all those around the athlete remain in their posts. But we do know that often it's not an athlete to blame. Therefore, criminal responsibility should be introduced for such situations, and the sooner, the better.

Expert on criminal liability for doping