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Estonia: The Riigikogu organised the procedure for the payment of grants and allowances to athletes

NordenBladet — The Riigikogu passed the Act on Amendments to the Sport Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts, which organises the procedure for the payment of grants and allowances to athletes, and helps combat betting fraud and the use of doping.

According to the Act, athlete’s grant may be paid tax-free to an athlete to a total extent of up to 12 times the minimum monthly wage in a calendar year. The limit organises the current procedure for the payment of grants, because in practice tax-free grants are also paid to athletes in the case of an employment relationship. In such cases, state taxes are not paid and the athletes have no social guarantees either. Athlete’s allowance may be paid tax-free to an athlete to the extent of up to two times the minimum monthly wage in a month, provided that a contract of employment or another contract under the law of obligations has been entered into with him or her. No grant may be paid in such a case.

The Act amends the provision concerning doping crimes in the Penal Code. Prescribing a substance or a method, inducing a person to use a substance or a method and assisting in the use of a substance or a method, and carriage of substances across a state border or manufacturing, producing, marketing, mediating or trafficking thereof are deemed to be criminal offences. Under the current procedure, a punishment can be imposed only in the case of inducing a person to use a medicinal product as doping. With a view to fighting against the manipulation of sports competitions, the Act provides for the establishment of a contact point to train and inform the relevant organisations in regard to the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions. The Estonian Anti-Doping and Sports Ethics Foundation will implement these tasks.

The amendments include among the elements of the Estonian sports register a sub-database to consolidate the sports results achieved in Estonian and international title events. The database will be an important tool in distributing public funds and making sports policy decisions. The results of amateur sports and exercise competitions will not be gathered into the database.

During the debate, Kristina Šmigun-Vähi (Reform Party) and Indrek Saar (Social Democratic Party) took the floor.

82 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act on Amendments to the Sport Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (105 SE), initiated by the Government.

During the open microphone, Kalle Grünthal, Peeter Ernits and Helmen Kütt took the floor.

 

Source: Parliament of Estonia

 


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