Molly Huddle is a two-time Olympian and American record-holder who’s calling upon the U.S. government to pass a bill to criminalize doping conspiracies that target international sporting events. The bill was unanimously passed in the House of Representatives last month and must now be passed by the Senate in order to become law.
Huddle has been outspoken about the negative consequences of doping for those who make the choice to compete clean. She wrote in the Providence Journal on Friday that, “Nothing compares to the Olympic Games as a platform for athletes to become heroes, and four years is a long time to wait for another shot at glory. An elite runner’s whole career may only last eight years. Due to doping, it is now common for results to change months or even years after the last athlete crosses the finish line.” Huddle is hoping that the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act will be passed shortly. The Act would also protect whistleblowers and allow athletes to seek restitution when they lose earnings to dopers.
With the Olympic games only seven months away and Russia (responsible for one of the largest state-sponsored doping scandals in history) in the midst of appealing its four year ban, athletes are concerned about whether their clean performance will see an equal playing field.
One action to help clean sport is The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act. It “will criminalize doping conspiracies that target international sporting events and put the power of federal law enforcement behind clean athletes.” @MollyHuddle https://t.co/99mNw4fR7z
— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) December 28, 2019
The bill was named after Russian Dr. Gregory Rodchenkov, who unveiled crucial information about the Russian state-sponsored doping four years ago, letting anti-doping organizations know that policing individual athletes alone wasn’t enough.
In 2019 alone, several medal upgrades have been handed out to runners who were denied their moment at previous World Championships. On top of medal upgrades, countless athletes have received the news that someone who placed ahead of them at a championship or Games has received a suspension, but know they won’t receive an upgrade. Just because someone cheated once doesn’t mean all of their performances can be proven dirty.
For example, Canadian 800m record-holder Melissa Bishop was second in the 2015 World Championships to Marina Arzamasova who earlier this year received a provisional suspension for Ligandrol, which is reportedly often present in supplements used by bodybuilders. Bishop went on to finish fourth in the Rio Olympics and fifth in the 2017 World Championships.