Maddie Bowman to Rep. Tom McClintock: Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2019 (opinion)
Dear Congressman McClintock,
As an Olympic champion and X-Games gold medalist, I ask you to support the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2019 to help save Olympic sport from rampant corruption in the form of international doping conspiracies and to strengthen the American anti-doping system.
As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and more specifically as a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security where the bill (H.R.835) currently resides, you are uniquely positioned to help move this important bipartisan legislation out of committee.
In supporting this bill, you will be joining your fellow Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jim Jordan, as well as six other Republican members of the House and 18 Democratic members of the House, to address systemic fraud in global sport.
The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act will give federal law enforcement the authority to pursue national and international doping conspiracies, a step that is long overdue following rampant state-sponsored doping by the Russian Federation at their home Olympics in 2014 involving over 1,000 athletes and numerous other global doping conspiracies over the past 20 years.
By mandating information sharing between law enforcement and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the Rodchenkov Act will strengthen the existing anti-doping system.
As an athlete, I have seen Olympic sport’s vast potential to be a force for good in the world. Sport has the ability to bring people together by transcending political divides, geographic divides and socioeconomic divides. It instills feelings of pride and joy in both competitors and fans, and it exemplifies teamwork and dedication and motivates people to pursue active and healthy lifestyles.
However, I have also seen the harm done to sport and the ideals for which it stands by doping, cheating and corruption. Scandals in sport cause people to lose faith in humanity. Corruption drives away fans and diminishes sport’s potential.
The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act will help sport live up to its potential. It will disincentivize doping by athletes and the facilitating of doping by coaches, doctors and administrators. By protecting whistleblowers, it will empower athletes to speak up in pursuit of a level playing field, and it will give athletes who are victims of doping a path to justice.
Most of all, the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act will renew belief in clean sport for both athletes and fans.
Rep. McClintock, you have the power to change the landscape of the Olympic movement and to help global sport live up to its potential. Please support and co-sponsor the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act.
Olympic gold medalist, ski halfpipe, Sochi 2014
5-time Winter X-Games gold medalist