WASHINGTON -- U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that would make it a crime to use or distribute performance-enhancing drugs while competing in international sports events.
The bill in the House is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, the Russian lab director who blew the whistle on Russian cheating at the Sochi Olympics.
Penalties would include fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and prison sentences of up to 10 years for those who make, distribute or use banned substances at international events, such as the Olympics.
U.S. and foreign athletes would be subject to the law if competing in an event that includes four or more U.S. athletes and other athletes from three or more countries, even if the event is held outside the United States.
The bill cites the U.S. contribution to the World Anti-Doping Agency as justification for jurisdiction over events outside American borders.
The bill also would expand the timeframe for athletes and corporate sponsors who were cheated to file lawsuits seeking damages.
Other countries, including Germany, Italy and Kenya, have similar laws. U.S. authorities have long been hamstrung by limited legal options to prosecute doping cheats.