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Paris Olympics 2024: American Man Fined $16,000 Over Tokyo Doping Scandal

Published 02/22/2024, 6:15 AM EST

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The Olympic committee and anti-doping governing bodies have long battled the concern of performance-enhancing drugs in the industry. Difficult as it may appear, the authorities have often emerged successful in holding up the integrity of sports. One such moment of triumph, though ironic, arrived last year, involving a doping case rooted during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

44-year-old Eric Lira who was speculated to have distributed banned substances during the Tokyo Olympics, pleaded guilty to charges last May. After a long case of battle for fairness, Lira’s has received a verdict and penalty in recent developments.

Governing bodies clear off yet another case

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Eric Lira was previously alleged to have been involved in providing banned substances to athletes during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. According to reports, the Texas native posed as a ‘kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor’ while performing the acts. Two athletes, one from Nigeria and the other from Switzerland were said to have received the drugs as per the prosecutor. “Both athletes tested positive for prohibited substances, and in both cases, Lira directly and indirectly advised that the athletes should blame the positive drug test on contaminated meat,” a press release revealed.

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However, months into the investigation, Lira pleaded guilty to the allegations in May 2023. “This conviction is a watershed moment for international sport,” Attorney Damian Williams had remarked. Lira then became the first person to be charged under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act but the sentence had remained unknown. Only recently, the verdict sentenced Eric Lira to three months of prison alongside one year of supervised release and a fine of $16,410. In hopes of avoiding the repeated situation further, the 2024 Paris Olympics committee has taken measures well ahead to cover a wider demography in attendance.

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A hope for a clean road to Paris Olympics

As every year, in compliance with the IOC, the Anti-doping agency has put forth rules set to be enforced at the Paris Olympics. As per the report, the regulations will be set in place from July 18, six days before the commencement, and will stay on until the 11th of August. “During the period of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, all athletes shall be subject to doping controls initiated by the International Testing Agency (ITA) at any time or place, with no advance notice required to be given to the athletes,” the IOC letter read.

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Moreover, the regulations this year will be extended to include all the officials involved in the games. Directors, officers, employees, and even horses won’t be exempted from the testing. The analytical findings will remain confidential for 20 days and will be made public later upon rule violations. With extensive measures in place, Paris Olympics hope for a cleaner and fairer environment.

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Written by:

Shivatmika Manvi

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Shivatmika Manvi is an Olympic Sports writer at EssentiallySports. She writes about the diverse worlds of equestrian sports and rodeo, whilst maneuvering through the realm of gymnastics. Closely following the paths of showjumping icon Jennifer Gates and Dressage maestro Christian Simonson, Shivatmika gives readers a platform to know more about their favorite jockeys.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani