“Today’s announcement regarding the prison time for Eric Lira, the first person ever charged with violating the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (RADA), speaks volumes about the real consequences that can be brought against those who conspire to harm clean athletes and defraud sport. Signed into law following the unprecedented state-sponsored doping fraud perpetrated by the Russian state and sport system, the act criminalizes doping schemes that influence international sport.
In this case, Lira distributed dangerous performance-enhancing drugs to Olympic athletes prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Despite this egregious offence against sport, Lira didn’t fall under anti-doping rules, making RADA the only way to hold accountable Lira and others who rob clean athletes and the public of safe and fair sport.
The charges against Lira were made possible, in part, thanks to a brave whistleblower who reported information to USADA about intentional doping by athletes. RADA requires the sharing of information between organizations around the world, and as any organization should, USADA brought this valuable information to authorities who could prosecute the case. We extend our deepest thanks to the Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI for their dedication throughout this case – their findings make it very clear that the U.S. is committed to investigating and penalizing fraudulent activity. This message is particularly powerful as the U.S. prepares to host numerous international events, including the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The collaboration between USADA and law enforcement has also led to numerous anti-doping rule violations, including the decision against Sabina Allen and the decisions against Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare that prevented them from defrauding the Tokyo Games. Coaches Dewayne Barrett and O’Neil Wright have also been charged under RADA. With both Oduduru and Okagbare, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) worked closely with USADA to successfully investigate and compile evidence for their cases. This ongoing collaboration between anti-doping organizations, law enforcement, and other federal agencies will continue to impose meaningful consequences for those who conspire against clean athletes and fair sport.”
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