One shoe has dropped for admitted drug trafficker-turned-anti-doping witness Joe Papp as he awaits sentencing on two felony counts of conspiracy to distribute Human Growth Hormone and Erythropoietin (EPO). The U.S. Anti-doping Agency announced Friday morning that Papp was handed an eight-year sanction for a non-analytical rule violation.
“This non-analytical anti-doping rule violation is a result of Papp distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs on behalf of a Chinese drug distributor via the Internet for which he was also charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for violations of federal law,” read the USADA release. “Papp pled guilty to two felony charges as a result.”
Papp’s eight-year sanction is a reduced sentence. Under USADA rules, he was eligible for a lifetime ban for his second offense after serving a two-year sanction that began in May 2006. Papp has worked with federal prosecutors and USADA investigators on a number of cases, including those of former pro Phil Zajicek and former world champion Jeannie Longo.
“Papp, 36, received a reduction to an eight-year sanction in accordance with the rules since he has provided substantial assistance to anti-doping authorities, sharing information about ongoing criminal activity as well as potential anti-doping rule violations by athletes under USADA’s jurisdiction and/or the jurisdiction of other anti-doping organizations,” read the release.
According to USADA, Papp began providing assistance to the agency on September 1, 2007, the day he accepted a provisional sanction. His period of ineligibility will end on August 31, 2015. He awaits sentencing as part of a plea agreement this month.