Lifetime ban avoided due to cooperation with authorities
Joe Papp has been handed an eight-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs on behalf of a Chinese drug distributor via the internet. It was Papp's second anti-doping violation and the 36-year-old will be unable to compete until August 31, 2015.
"This non-analytical anti-doping rule violation is a result of Papp distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs on behalf of a Chinese drug distributor via the Internet for which he was also charged by the US Attorney's Office for violations of federal law," said a statement released by the USADA. "Papp pled guilty to two felony charges as a result. This is Papp's second anti-doping rules violation as he tested positive for a prohibited substance and received a two-year sanction in May 2006."
Papp could have faced a lifetime ban for his actions; however, his sentence was reduced to eight years due to the fact he has cooperated fully with several investigations in the US.
"He has provided substantial assistance to anti-doping authorities, sharing information about ongoing criminal activity as well as potential anti-doping rule violations by athletes under USADA's jurisdiction and/or the jurisdiction of other anti-doping organizations," said the USADA.
Papp testified in the 2007 Floyd Landis case and pleaded guilty in 2010 in a Pittsburgh federal court on two counts of conspiracy to distribute performance enhancing drugs. He could still face up to five years in prison for each count of conspiracy to sell human growth hormones (HGH) and Erythropoietin (EPO) on behalf of the Shandong Kexing Bioproducts company.
Purchases of the illegal performance-enhancing drugs were made by up to 187 international athletes from a variety of sports, including cycling, from September 2006 to September 2007. The transactions took place with Papp as an intermediary between his sportsmen clients and the Chinese sellers of the Eposino-brand of EPO and Jintropin HGH.