Cyclist Jan Ullrich Pays Fine for Defrauding Public by Doping

Since doping is not a crime in Germany, German prosecutors sued cyclist Jan Ullrich for fraud based on evidence of the use of banned blood doping and performance-enhancing drugs (“Jan Ullrich draws 1M euro fine in doping fraud case,” April 12).

Disgraced former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich is to pay out a million euro fine to end a fraud case which German prosecutors have been investigating, Focus news magazine reported on its Web site Saturday.

Prosecutors accused the 1997 Tour de France winner of taking performance-enhancing drugs, leading under German law to fraud charges against the 34-year-old on the basis he deceived the public, sponsors and his team.

The United States does not have laws that specifically criminalize doping in sports. However, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990, passed as a direct result of doping scandals in sports, criminalizes the non-medical uses of anabolic-androgenic steroids. One of the primary objectives for the act has been to combat “cheating” in sports although it has been largely ineffective for this purpose. Instead, the federal government has had some recent success using perjury laws to prosecute athletes who use steroids. Maybe sports fraud prosecutions will join perjury as an additional way of making examples out of “immoral” athletes.

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