Athletes in Austria who are caught doping may be subject to criminal penalties in the future. The country's new Sport Minister, Norbert Darabos, has proposed making athletes criminally liable, as suppliers already are.
In an interview with kurier.at, Darabos said that he believed such a law would not end with athletes in handcuffs, but rather would have a deterrent effect. "Because of the threat of criminal prosecution, doping would become less likely for the athlete. He knows that doping could put him in jail."
Otto Flum, head of the Austrian cycling federation (ÖRF), greeted the addition of athletes to the law. "The threat of criminal action against only the suppliers has shown itself – as in the recent Kohl case – to be a totally toothless act," he said on the ÖRF's web site, radsportverband.at.
In his hearing before the the ÖRF earlier this week, Kohl had refused to give the name of the doctor who supplied him with the CERA for which he tested positive.