The German government has presented a new bill designed to crack down on doping in sport.
The draft law, due to be debated in the Bundestag, proposes tougher sanctions against offenders, including prison terms.
The law will apply to elite athletes as well as doctors or coaches who recommend or supply banned substances.
German Sports and Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere said: “The aim of this law is to maintain the integrity of sport and to fight doping. We are presenting an effective law, a short law, a clear law but also a tough law.”
In the bill only those “earning a significant amount of money from sport” will be under scrutiny. Amateur sport is not included.
Lars Mortsiefer from the German Anti-Doping Agency added: “We are increasing the pressure on athletes who use dope and on their doping environment. This is very important and we have to do so with sports and criminal law.”
The German government estimates that around 7,000 top- flight athletes will be covered by the new bill, which could become law by January 2015.