Early on Wednesday morning, a Texas Kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor named Eric Lira was charged by the U.S. prosecutors for providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes competing in last summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Lira, 41, of El Paso, is the first person to be charged under a new U.S. anti-doping law governing international sports competitions.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Lira distributed the drugs, including human growth hormone and erythropoietin, a blood-building hormone, “for the purpose of corrupting” the 2020 Games, which were held in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lira also is accused of conspiring to violate drug misbranding and adulteration laws. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
The criminal complaint alleges that Lira, brought “misbranded”versions of the drugs to the United States from Central and South America before distributing them to athletes.
The charges against Lira were brought under the Rodchenkov Act, a law signed in 2020 that prohibits “any person, other than an athlete,”to knowingly influence any “major international sports competition” with the use of prohibited substance.