October 1, 2020 Media

The Gazette: House passes DeGette legislation to fund anti-doping agency

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to reauthorize and fund the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the organization that provides drug testing and education for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and other sporting organizations.

“As the host of the 2028 Olympic Games, it will be our responsibility to ensure every athlete here is able to compete on a level playing field,“ said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, one of the sponsors of the measure. “This legislation should send a very clear message that anyone thinking about cheating their way onto a podium in 2028 needs to think twice.”

In its first year, the legislation authorizes $15.5 million to USADA, increasing to $24.9 million by 2028, when the Summer Olympics will take place in Los Angeles. The bill also directs several federal agencies, including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the attorney general, to cooperate in prohibiting the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

A portion of USADA’s funding will go toward promoting a “positive youth sport experience,” which includes education about sportsmanship, character building and healthy performance.

Live Science reported in 2018 that the World Anti-Doping Agency typically finds 1% to 2% of Olympic athletes tested produce positive results for performance-enhancing drugs. However, a 2017 anonyous survey of elite athletes suggested that the proportion was closer to half.