China's fight against doping was given a huge boost when the country's Supreme People's Court brought long-heralded criminal punishments for certain doping activities into law here on Monday.
The country's highest court announced judicial interpretations on the application of criminal law in handling cases related to doping, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
"This move is profoundly important in China's fight against doping," said China Anti-doping Agency CEO Chen Zhiyu.
"China has made considerable progress in cracking down on doping, but we have been aware of the lack of sufficient punishments on severe doping rule violations," he said.
"The new judicial interpretations can now curb doping at its roots, and will be a force to protect public health," Chen said.
The changes are aimed at criminalizing such activities as the trafficking and illegal business operation of banned substances, and forcing, organizing, luring or cheating minors or people with disabilities into using performance-enhancing drugs. The production and sale of banned drugs will also be subject to criminal punishments.