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Performance-enhancing drug use could earn athletes jail time in Germany

This Feb. 13, 2007 file photo shows steroids

This Feb. 13, 2007 file photo shows steroids purchased through the mail by undercover law enforcement officials. Vials of HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin), and Bacteriostatic water, left, 2 vials of Stanozolo, center, and testosterone (cypionate: enanthate: propionate) right, are displayed with white clompiphenene and green anastrozole pills in Albany, N.Y. Credit: AP

BERLIN -- The draft of an anti-doping law in Germany plans jail terms of up to three years for top athletes caught taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The law will go before parliament in the spring and makes doping a crime for the first time. The draft is scheduled to be presented by ministers on Wednesday but was widely reported in the German media on Tuesday.

About 7,000 German professional athletes who are covered by the national testing program are affected by the new law. The law does not apply to hobby athletes.

Possession of even small amounts of banned substances can lead to heavy fines and jail terms. Foreign athletes caught doping in Germany also risk prison.

Doctors and others who provide drugs face jail terms of up to 10 years.

New York Sports