Yuliya Stepanova und Vitali Stepanov: ihre Geschichte, Erfahrungen und Stellungnahmen
- Whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, Vitali Stepanov
- Whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, Vitali Stepanov – Pressechronikv
- ➚ 2020 Walsh, David: The Russian Affair
- 6.12.2016 Anti-Doping-Preis der DOH
- 5.8.2016 Stepanov Statement zur CAS-Entscheidung vom 4,/5.8.2016
- 25., 30.8.2016 Stepanovs: Antworten auf Yuliyas OS-Ausschluss
- 6.6.2016 Vitali Stepanov: Brief an / Letter to IOC, IAAF, WADA
- 27.2.2013 Yuliya Stepanova: Brief an / Letter to WADA
William Bock, 1.12.2015:
Courageous Whistleblowers Reveal Hidden Secrets
A beacon of integrity and hope amidst the bleak landscape of fear, intimidation and doping is found in whistleblowers Vitaly Stepanov and his wife Yuliya (Rusanova) Stepanova. Vitaly is a former employee of RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency. Yuliya is an elite Russian middle distance runner. Fed up with the corrupt Russian sports system Vitaly and Yuliya decided to rebel. They secretly recorded athletes, coaches and sports officials discussing doping and even caught the WADA accredited laboratory director requesting payment of a bribe. These courageous whistleblowers were undeterred even though they knew that by exposing the system of doping in Russia they were risking their personal safety and would be ostracized.
Sadly and predictably, the Russian media has attempted to portray Vitaly and Yuliya as tools of Western political interests. As recognized by the IC report, “when those involved in doping activities are exposed, they almost invariably attempt to attack, discredit, marginalize and intimidate any whistleblowers.” The Russian sport minister has publicly attacked Vitaly and Yuliya, questioning the legality of the secret tape recordings they made.
However, whistleblowers are an essential check on doping in sport and must be encouraged. At the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, we have learned that insiders with detailed knowledge of the inner workings of a doping scheme can provide indispensable evidence, permitting anti-doping authorities to uncover the secrets of rogue chemists, doping doctors and performance enhancing drug (PED) conspirators. Without the help of those who have been on the inside, the secrets of doping conspiracies will frequently remain hidden from the outside world, increasing the pressure on athletes to dope and heightening a sense within the sport (a sense that is encouraged by those invested in doping) that PED use is unchecked, inevitable and irresistible. Our investigations into the BALCO and U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team doping conspiracies would not have ended successfully without the help of insiders who eventually turned against the wrongdoing and elected to follow a new path and help us clean up their sport.
Nevertheless, a wall of a silence, the so called omerta, still persists within sport, creating strong disincentives for truth telling. Even in the United States, athletes ensnared in a doping ring frequently fear for their personal safety and the shredding of their reputations should they come forward with what they know. A number of Lance Armstrong’s former teammates were ostracized when they admitted their involvement in doping and provided testimony to USADA. For instance, Levi Leipheimer, was quickly terminated by his Belgian Omega Pharma Quik Step cycling team and lost over a million dollars in income. This was just part of the price that Levi paid for telling the truth. At times he even feared for his safety and that of family members after it became known in the cycling world that he had testified before a federal grand jury.
Yet, for all the courage it took for cyclists to oppose the omerta in the professional cycling peloton it is apparent that the courage it takes to oppose the state sponsored Russian doping machine is of another level still. Vitaly and Yuliya are currently a couple without a country. At home in Russia, a home where they may perhaps never be welcome again, the concerted effort to trash their reputations is ongoing. Yuliya’s former coach, Vladimir Kazarin, called her a “traitor” recently on Russian television.
At this stage, with much of the detailed evidence of a doping conspiracy out in the open, it is mind-blowing that anyone would question the legitimacy of the whistleblowers coming forward. Even Russian President Putin, a former director of the FSB and before that a KGB officer for 16 years, has said publicly, for the benefit of western media, that the doping allegations in the IC report should be investigated, and he pledged Russian cooperation.
However, a different story is being spread within Russia where the truth is apparently too uncomfortable for sport leaders to confront. As the IC predicted, “many sports organizations treat whistleblowers more harshly than they treat the dopers on whom they inform.” Vitaly and Yuliya are now facing such retaliation.
Anna Glushenko, a Russian Athletics Federation spokeswoman, was quoted recently by Reuters saying, “They need to get citizenship (in a foreign country) and that’s why they made this up.” In a media interview the malicious theme that Yuliya allegedly made her revelations in order to obtain a residence permit in Canada was echoed by Russian Sports Minister Mutko. For her part Tatiana Lebedeva, the vice president of the Russian Athletics Federation, has claimed the whistleblowers only hurt innocent athletes. These comments, which tend to incite anger and embolden others to attack Vitaly and Yuliya, make it clear why it was necessary for them to leave Russia once they had decided to reveal the hidden secrets of Russian doping.
A recent report out of Russia quoted a lawyer for several Russian athletes exposed by Vitaly and Yuliya as being poised to sue them for libel and defamation. Similarly, during the cycling investigation a number of whistleblowers, including even a journalist and the London Sunday Times, were sued by Armstrong and/or the international cycling federation. Such is the standard mode of operation of a doping conspiracy, it always seeks to crush those who have the courage to reveal the secrets of the conspiracy.
Thus, the more that the Russian media and sports machine attack Vitaly and Yuliya, the more we see that a chord has been struck deep within Russia. The more clearly we behold the dark, ugly, grotesque beast of state sponsored doping the more clearly we understand the courage it took to confront the behemoth.
IAAF Interim Taskforce
Taskforce Note relating to Yuliya Stepanova
1. The Council asked the Taskforce to get legal and technical input on Yuliya Stepanova’s request to be granted eligibility to compete in International Competitions as a neutral athlete, independently of any reinstatement of RusAF, and to report to the Council with a recommendation.
2. The Taskforce notes that:
2.1 From 2007 to early 2012, Yuliya Stepanova took steroids and EPO. The IAAF charged her with blood-doping in January 2013, and she immediately accepted a two year ban, and served it in full, ending in January 2015.
2.2 She has been out of Russia since October 2014 (shortly before ARD broadcast the evidence she had gathered of systemic cheating in Russian athletics), and has been subject to drug testing by the IAAF as a member of its Registered Testing Pool.
2.3 From a technical perspective, she has met the qualifying standards for both the European Athletics Championships and the athletics competition at the 2016 Olympic Games.
2.4 From a legal perspective, her request could be considered if Competition Rule 22.1(a) is amended to permit exemptions where an athlete has made a truly exceptional contribution to the fight against doping in sport.
2.5 The Taskforce considers that Yuliya Stepanova has made a truly exceptional contribution to the fight against doping in sport. She took great personal risks in order to break open a doping culture that no one else on the inside was willing to expose, and no one on the outside was able to expose. That contribution has led to further investigations and disclosures. Without her contribution, the unique opportunity that now exists to fix the system would very likely not exist. Instead RUSADA and the Moscow laboratory would be continuing to operate in a compromised manner; coaches and doctors would be continuing to administer PEDs to their athletes; and those athletes would be continuing to compete in international competition with a wholly illicit advantage. Yuliya Stepanova has therefore struck a great blow for clean athletes everywhere.
2.6 Whistle-blowing is vital to the fight against doping in sport. From a policy perspective, therefore, the Taskforce considers it extremely important to send a very strong message to athletes everywhere that such contributions are highly valued.
3. The Taskforce therefore unanimously recommends that the Council (1) amend Competition Rule 22.1(a) with immediate effect, to permit exemptions where an athlete has made a truly exceptional contribution to the fight against doping in sport; and (2) refer Yuliya Stepanova’s application to an appropriate panel as soon as possible, with a recommendation that it consider that application favourably.
Rune Andersen, Taskforce Chair
17 June 2016
Presseartikel und Videos
David Walsh veröffentlichte ein Buch über Yulia Stepanova und und Vitali Stepanov: The Russian Affair : The True Story of the Couple who Uncovered the Greatest Sporting Scandal. 26.7.2020:
New York Times: The Whistle-Blowers Next Door, 26.12.2019
DLF: Stepanowa erhält Preis der Doping-Opfer-Hilfe, 6.12.2016
SZ: Neun Umzüge in eineinhalb Jahren , 7.12.2016>
David Walsh, No pot of gold at end of this rainbow, Zitate, 30.10.2016
Jack Robertson, Chefermittler der WADA bis Anfang 2016, bricht sein Schweigen und berichtet, dass Vieles über das Dopingsystem in Russland seit Längerem bekannt war, die WADA daher schon wesentlich früher zu Russland und den Manipulationen rund um Sochi hätte ermitteln können. Doch Reedie und seine Umgebung wollten nicht, hofften darauf, dass sich der durch Medienberichte aufgebaute Sturm verzieht und Russland ungeschoren davon kommt. Entsetzt ist er über den Umgang mit den Whistleblowern Stepanov. Robertson ist der Meinung, dass das IOC die Athletenregelung zu Russland getroffen hat, um Yulias Start zu verhindern. 4.8.2016:
propublica.org: On Eve of Olympics, Top Investigator Details Secret Efforts to Undermine Russian Doping Probe
SZ: Stepanows beklagen nächsten Bauerntrick, 31.7.2016
Yulia Stepanova wird den Anti-Doping-Preis 2016 des Vereins Doping-Opfer-Hilfe (DOH) erhalten. 19.7.2016:
DOH: Julia Stepanowa erhält den mit 10 000 Euro dotierten Anti-Doping-Preis 2016 der Doping-Opfer-Hilfe (DOH)
NYT: An Olympic Antidoping Champion, 16.6.2016
L’Equipe: Dopage: Le prix de la vérité, 27.5.2016
cbsnews: Russian doping at Sochi Winter Olympics exposed, script 8.5.2016
the sunday times: Whistleblower speaks , 29.12.2015
Sue Mott: Merry Christmas, Mrs Stepanova, 22.12.2015
NZZ: Putins schmutzige Sportarmee, 16.11.2015
a href=“http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/athletics/paul-kimmage-whistleblowers-suffer-vilification-as-drug-cheats-escape-34201452.html“ target=“_blank“ rel=“noopener“>independent.ie:
: Whistleblowers suffer vilification as drug cheats escape, 15.11.2015