US man jailed following doping charge at Tokyo Olympics

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After admitting to his involvement in supplying banned performance-enhancing drugs to athletes ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, an American man has been sentenced to three months in prison.

At the age of 44, Eric Lira received his sentence, marking the first individual charged under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, a federal law in the United States that criminalizes doping schemes designed to impact sporting events.

According to prosecutors, Lira portrayed himself as a “kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor” while distributing prohibited substances.

Court papers quoted one track athlete who received illegal drugs from Lira, who after performing at the Olympics in 2021 wrote messages including, “Eric my body feel so good,”, “I am soooo happy,” and “whatever you did, is working so well”.

Hailing from El Paso, Texas, Lira was additionally instructed to undergo one year of supervised release and to surrender $16,410 (£12,600).

Named after Grigory Rodchenkov, a Russian whistleblower who exposed a systematic doping scheme in the nation following the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Rodchenkov Act aims to curb doping practices in sports.