The Austrian Parliament has voted unanimously to adopt new and harder anti-doping laws in the country. The new regulations provide for the possibility of up to three years' imprisonment, and provide that athletes and support staff who are suspended could be permanently cut off from further federal funding.
“This action is a milestone in the fight against doping,” said Austrian Sport Minister Norbert Darabos in a statement issued on Friday night. He said that the new law should have “a clear preventative effect against doping in Austria. Athletes and their advisers will now think twice before they step on the dishonest road of doping. I will do all I can to see that these regulations also become the international standard.”
Under the new law, those who are suspended would also have a lifelong ban on receiving federal sports funding, and could be required to pay back any such funding received after the time of the doping. Suspended athletes who wish to return to their sport must be available for doping controls for one year before they return, an increase from six months.
In addition, doping with a damage of more than 100 Euros will be considered a major fraud, and is punishable with up to three years in prison.