Celebrity drug users get slap on wrist- no punishment

  • 2009-03-03
  • TBT staff

Drug scandals could mean the end of many high profile athletes careers.

RIGA - The Latvian police have decided not to punish athletes andhigh-profile drug users, even though their offense would cost them theircareers.


The Riga Regional Criminal Police hasidentified about ten high-profile figures, including athletes and peopleappearing in the tabloid press, who have been buying narcotics from two drugdealers who the police detained in early February. Both drug dealers also havebeen connected to professional sports earlier.


Criminal Police head Ints Kuzis saidearlier that the celebrities had been using drugs even in public and theirresponsibility for the offense will be assessed. Now Kuzis said that the maintask is to find out who sold drugs to the two drug-dealers to bust the drugdealing ring.

atvian Interior Minister Mareks Seglins doesnot approve of the decision by police that a slap on the wrist should be allthe punishment for the athletes involved in the drug scandal as criminalcharges would mean an end to their sports career.

He told BNS that as theminister he did not make inquiries about any specific cases or interfere withthe investigation but he found the above-mentioned argument lame because"we have an offense and the Criminal Law sets forth the penalties andprocedures to be followed."

"The fact that theperson is an athlete, or a farmer, or a motor mechanic must not matter when itcomes to following the criminal law procedures against this or that individual.This is not a valid argument," said the interior minister.

When asked whether thepolice should reconsider its decision, the minister said: "I'm not goingto give any orders to the police but but it's a requirement -- one's professionmust not be used as an argument when assessing one's potential criminalactivities."

On Feb. 6, police detained two 34 and 24 years old drug dealers,seizing 176.5 grams of methamphetamine and 11.6 grams of cocaine from them,worth about 2,461 lats (3,501 euro).