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France stiffens anti-doping laws

Riders in this year's Tour de France have been warned: they could face jail time if caught with doping products. A new law passed by the French parliament on Wednesday would impose a one-year sentence and a 3,750 euro fine for athletes caught in possession of doping products with much harsher penalties for drug trafficking: five years in prison and a 75,000 euro fine or up to seven years and 150,000 euro for organised trafficking or providing doping products to a minor.

The new law applies to any athlete, but opponents claimed that the bill was pushed through hastily in order to be enacted in time for this year's Tour de France. No penalty would be imposed if the athlete can show medical justification for possessing medications.

According to AFP, the bill was introduced by French Minister for Sport Bernard Laporte, in order to provide a deterrent to doping and drugs trafficking, and to bring French law into harmony with the World Anti-doping Code.

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