Man charged with doping at Olympics argues new US law is unconstitutional

NEW YORK – The first person ever to be charged under a new US law allowing prosecutors to attack doping in international sports competitions, arguing the law is unconstitutional in a bid to persuade a judge to dismiss the charges against him.

Eric Lira, who was arrested in January for distributing performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, to athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, argued in a court filing late Tuesday (6 Nations and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“This unprecedented delegation of legislative power violates our Constitution because it allows a foreign entity to dictate the parameters of a criminal law in this country,” Lira’s attorney Mary Stillinger wrote, adding that the law was too vague and broad.

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan, which is prosecuting the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Rodchenkov Law was named after Grigory Rodchenkov, a former Russian anti-doping laboratory head turned whistleblower who helped expose Russia’s state-sponsored doping. The law allows US prosecutors prison terms of up to 10 years and fines of up to $1 million.

Russia has acknowledged some shortcomings in the implementation of anti-doping rules but denies running a state-sponsored doping program.

Lira, a 42-year-old Texas resident, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of obtaining misnomered prescription drugs to increase red blood cell production and supplying them to athletes. He was released on $100,000 bail.

US District Judge Lorna Shofield has not said when she will rule on the motion to dismiss.