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Russia planning on jailing coaches associated with doped athletes

Russia planning on jailing coaches associated with doped athletes

Russia planning on jailing coaches associated with doped athletes

Russia athletes

Nine-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt is set to race for a million-dollar purse in Australia in 2017 in what is expected to be his swansong season.

There, he might also be racing one of his fiercest rivals, as American Justin Gatlin has also been linked with the occasion.

Bolt, 30, will be racing in Australia for the very first time when he steps onto the track at the Nitro Summer Series in February, next year.

His swansong comes later in the year as he has already announced that he will retire from the sport after the August 5-13 world championships in London.

Bolt set a new standard in August at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, where he became the first man to win three gold medals in three straight Olympics.

Bolt won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay replicating his performances at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

In doing so, he equalled distance-runner Paavo Nurmi and American sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis as the most successful Olympic track and field athletes.

But Bolt may lose the Beijing 2008 relay gold as one of his teammates is the subject of an IOC enquiry into his re-tested sample which has proved positive for a banned substance.

Meanwhile an anti-doping bill which introduces sanctions including prison terms for coaches found guilty of coercing athletes into taking performance enhancing drugs has been passed by the Russian Duma today.

This has been hailed by officials in the country as a key step in showing their improved attitude following allegations of state-sponsored doping last year.

According to the TASS news agency, coaches, doctors or other sports and physical culture specialists found responsible for athletes taking outlawed substances, regardless of their consent, could face a fine of one million roubles (£12,600/$15,200/€14,700).

A two year “restriction of freedom” or a one-year prison sentence could also be issued.

They also face “professional disqualification” for a period of up to four years.

The bill, authored by United Russia and Liberal Democratic Party of Russia legislators, has reportedly been “eased somewhat” after Government-proposed amendments, however.

Others have dismissed it as more of a rhetorical than genuine attempt to improve their procedures following the scheduled release of the second part of the McLaren Report into alleged state-sponsored doping in mid-December.

Russia, currently still suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Paralympic Committee, are accused of illegally swapping tainted urine samples for fake ones at events including their home Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

It is alleged that more than 15 medal winners are implicated, including Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation head Alexander Zubkov.

Zhukov urged the Russian Government to improve the final bill as soon as possible.

Zhukov claimed the bill also delivers a “clear signal” to those in Russia who argue it is impossible to achieve success in high-performance sports without doping.

“All of our great sports history, both Soviet and Russian, proves that our clean athletes have always achieved success in major competitions, including the Olympic Games.”

A anti-doping Commission headed by honorary IOC member Vitaly Smirnov has also been set-up to investigate wrongdoing.