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Olympics: Just in time, Brazil passes key anti-doping legislation

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (R) and President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach attend a ceremony of the one year countdown to host the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil passed key anti-doping legislation on Thursday that avoided the embarrassing possibility of the country being in breach of the rules at its own Olympic Games.

The legislation was officially confirmed in the government’s official gazette, one day before the deadline set by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA).

The decree creates one tribunal for doping cases across all sports, as WADA demanded in November when it named Brazil one of the countries not in compliance with its guidelines. Until now, state and national courts heard anti-doping cases.

“Trials on Brazilian soil regarding doping in sport must take place in the Sports Anti-Doping Justice (system),” the official announcement said.

The move also seeks to speed up hearings to the international standard of a maximum of 21 days, less than the maximum of 60 days more common in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro will host South America’s first Olympic Games in August.

Writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Alan Baldwin