Criminal penalties for doping kick in March 1, 2021

(Xinhua)| Updated: 2021-03-02

BEIJING -- China will impose criminal penalties for doping as Amendment XI to the Criminal Law of China took effect on Monday.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress made the historic move as China's top legislature voted to adopt the amendment to Article 355 on December 26, 2020.

It stipulates that anyone who lures, instigates, or cheats athletes into using banned substances in either domestic or international competitions faces up to three years' imprisonment and a fine.

Heavier punishments will be given to those organizing or forcing athletes into using banned substances, while knowingly offering banned substances to athletes is also a criminal offense.

"The athletes are not subject to the article, because cheating athletes will be punished by bans and fines in accordance with the anti-doping rules," said Shanghai University of Political Science and Law deputy professor Jiang Xi, adding that it conforms to international practice.

The amendment represents China's latest anti-doping measure. In November 2019, the country's Supreme People's Court announced judicial interpretations on the application of criminal law in handling cases related to doping, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The State Council launched the Anti-Doping Regulation in 2004.