New law combats sports doping, codifies sporting grants and scholarships
Under the new law, a sporting scholarship can be tax-exempt to a level up to 12 times the minimum monthly wage per calendar year. While tax-free scholarships had already been paid to athletes, these did not include social taxes and the resulting guarantees.
At the sane time, an athlete may receive up to twice the minimum wage tax-free if he or she is covered by an employment contract or similar. In this case, a sports scholarship may not be paid.
The act also amends the penal code with regard to doping offences.
A doping offense is now defined as prescribing or inducing the use of a banned substance or method, as well as facilitating its manufacture, marketing, brokering or transfer. The law previously had only covered substances which were illegal.
The law also provides for establishing a contact point which educates and informs the relevant organizations on combating manipulative activities like fixing sports for betting purposes. These tasks are to be carried out by the Estonian anti-doping and sports ethics foundation (Eesti Antidopingu ja Spordieetika SA).
The law change follows a high-profile ski doping scandal which broke last year, involving former national ski coach Mati Alaver and three Estonian skiers in his charge.
The new law also adds a sub-database of competitive results within the Estonian sports register, collating results achieved in domestic and international competitions. This should aid in distributing public money and making sports policy decisions, according to ERR's sports portal.
The amendment adds a sub-database of sports results to the Estonian sports register, which collects sports results achieved in Estonian and international title competitions. The database is an important tool for distributing public money and making sports policy decisions. Results of hobby or training events will not be included in the database.
Editor: Andrew Whyte