Eric Lira: US prosecutors issue first charge under Rodchenkov Act

Doping samples in test tubes
Eric Lira is the first man to be charged under the Rodchenkov Act

Prosecutors have charged the first person under the Rodchenkov Act after a man allegedly supplied drugs to athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

Eric Lira, a therapist from Texas, allegedly distributed multiple drugs including human growth hormone.

Prosecutors said his actions were “for the purpose of corrupting the Games”.

The Rodchenkov Act – signed into law in 2020 – allows prosecutors to pursue individuals involved in doping schemesexternal-link at events featuring US athletes.

Prison sentences of up to 10 years can be administered, as well as fines of up to $1m (£730,000).

The law is named after Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled Russia after being involved in the country’s state-sponsored doping of athletes.

Lira – who has been taken into federal custody – is the first person charged under the act and he is also accused of conspiring with others to violate America’s drug misbranding and adulteration laws.

He allegedly obtained “misbranded” versions of drugs which are widely banned throughout competitive sport from sources in Central and South America before issuing them to athletes in the US.

The maximum term of imprisonment for conspiring to violate the misbranding laws is five years.