Doping: Whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, Vitali Stepanov – Pressechronik

Yuliya Stepanova und Vitali Stepanov: ihre Geschichte, Erfahrungen und Stellungnahmen


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: The Russian Affair by David Walsh review — exposing the doping scandal

New York Times: The Whistle-Blowers Next Door, 26.12.2019

Play the Game: Interview with Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, 13.10.2019

play the game: Russian whistleblower: “The fight is not over yet” , 13.10.2019

Republik: Der Dopingjäger

Play the Game: The Stepanovs and Hajo Seppelt receive the Play the Game Award, 29.11.2017 Russian doping whistleblowers make surprise CU appearance: ‚Don’t cheat. It’s black and white.‘, 22.2.2017

BBC: 100 Women, The Woman who Exposed Russian Doping, 1.1.2017

BBC: Yuliya Stepanova: What do Russians think of doping whistleblower?, 30.12.2016

Reuters: CAS issues decisions concerning Russian athlete Anastasiya Bazdyreva and Russian athletics coach Vladimir Mokhnev, 23.12.2016

Reuters: Russian athletics coach Mokhnev banned for 10 years, 23.12.2016

Laudatio Hans Wilhelm Gäb“Das IOC hat seine moralische Legitimität verwirkt“, 6.12.2016

DLF: Stepanowa erhält Preis der Doping-Opfer-Hilfe, 6.12.2016

n-tv: Whistleblowerin Stepanowa „bereut nichts“, 7.12.2016

SZ: Neun Umzüge in eineinhalb Jahren , 7.12.2016> Die Revolutionärin des Sports

David Walsh, No pot of gold at end of this rainbow, Zitate, 30.10.2016 Exclusive: IOC provide Stepanovs with consultancy work and training grant following meeting with Bach, 24.10.2016 Bachs Kehrtwende, IOC will Whistleblower Stepanows unterstützen, 25.10.2016 IOC request information on Russian anti-doping activities as decision to meet with Stepanovs criticised, 25.10.2016

DLF: Fall Stepanowa „Die Ethikkommission hat sich alles andere als ethisch verhalten.“, 28.8.2016 Kremlin Hackers Behind Anti-Doping Agency Attacks The Long Arm Of Russian Intelligence , 25.8.2016 Russian Doping Whistleblowers Fear for Their Lives After Cyber Attack , 28.8.2016

ARD, Das Erste: Exklusiv-Interview mit Witali und Julia Stepanow, 17.8.2016

WADA: WADA confirms illegal activity on Yuliya Stepanova’s ADAMS account, 13.8.2016 Russian whistleblowers who exposed doping scandals forced to move locations again

Jens Weinreich: Videokonferenz mit den Stepanows, 15.8.2016

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: On Eve of Olympics, Top Investigator Details Secret Efforts to Undermine Russian Doping Probe

spiegel-online/ Der Fall Stepanowa: Wie das IOC die olympischen Werte verrät, 2.8.2016

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) Yulia Stepanova – is she a „Judas?“ Or is she an „Olympic hero“? , 3.7.2016 Exclusive: Stepanova should run at Rio 2016 under neutral flag, says British athlete she cheated out of world final place, 3.7.2016

DLF: Hoffnung für Stepanowa

RP-online: Prokop: „Stepanowas Start muss sichergestellt werden“ WADA President Sir Craig Reedie backs IAAF ahead of IOC in row over Russian participation at Rio 2016

NYT: The Marriage That Led to the Russian Track Team’s Olympic Ban Door opened for „gamechanger“ Stepanova to compete independently at Rio 2016, 17.6.2016

NYT: An Olympic Antidoping Champion, 16.6.2016

USA TODAY: Whistleblowers seek protection as they play key roles in exposing doping, 15.6.2016 WADA heard of Russian doping in 2010, didn’t investigate until media reports , 2.6.2016

Le Monde: Dopage : lanceurs d’alerte olympique, 2.6.2015

L’Equipe: Dopage: Le prix de la vérité, 27.5.2016

SZ: Für das IOC sind Doping-Whistleblower Nestbeschmutzer , 26.5.2016

The Times: Rogue Russia: corruption scandal means the game ?is up for Rio, 15.5.2016 (Zitate daraus)

AP: ‚Sorry‘ Russia pleads for athletes to be allowed to compete in Rio Olympics, 15.5.2016

sid: Russischer Sportminister Mutko – „Wir schämen uns“, 15.5.2016

Reuters: Whistleblower nearly aborted efforts to expose Russian doping, 10.5.2016

WADA: WADA to immediately probe new Russian doping allegations related to 2014 Sochi Olympics, 10.5.2016

Zur Erinnerung: Vollständige E-Mail von Reedie (WADA) an Zhelanova (russisches Sportministerium), 30.4.2015

Reuters: Whistleblower still carries Olympic dream, 9.5.2016

cbsnews: Russian doping at Sochi Winter Olympics exposed, script 8.5.2016

CBS: Russian doping at Sochi Winter Olympics exposed

sid: Whistleblower: Vier russische Sotschi-Olympiasieger gedopt

NADA: INADO-Meeting: Austausch mit Whistleblowern Yuliya und Vitaly Stepanov, 18.4.2016

iNADO PM: Russian Whistleblowers appear at iNADO Anti-Doping Conference, 13.3.2016

APNewsBreak: Russia Whistleblowers Talk to Anti-Doping Group

AFP: IAAF study doping whistleblower’s request to compete again, 12.3.2016

The Sunday Times: Russian informant may get Rio spot, 6.3.2016 Whistleblower Stepanova hoping to compete at Rio 2016 as an independent or refugee athlete, 6.3.2016

The Sunday Times: Rio hope for cheat who blew whistle, 6.3.2016

cbc: Whistleblowers Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov describe Russia’s sports doping system, 13.1.2016

cbc-video: Whistleblowers describe Russia’s sports doping system Das kaputte Leben der Doping-Enthüller, 13.1.2016

DLF: Die Stepanows – die berühmtesten Whistleblower des Sports, 3.1.2016

Reuters: Branded a traitor, Russian sports whistleblower hides abroad, 20.11.2015

the telegraph: How the Stepanov family risked their lives to expose Russia’s doping regime, 28.12.2015

the sunday times: Whistleblower speaks , 29.12.2015

sportschau: Seppelt – „Coes Anti-Doping-Kampf ist nicht glaubwürdig“, 23.12.2015

Sue Mott: Merry Christmas, Mrs Stepanova, 22.12.2015

constantine cannon: Whistleblower of the Year Candidate — Russian Doping Whistleblowers Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, 18.12.2015

NZZ: Putins schmutzige Sportarmee, 16.11.2015

a href=““ target=“_blank“ rel=“noopener“>
: Whistleblowers suffer vilification as drug cheats escape, 15.11.2015

DLV: Der schwierige Alltag der Whistleblower, 3.5.2015

FAZ: Yulia Stepanova „Doper lassen sich besser vermarkten“ , 17.12.2014

Russland und Doping

Pressechronik Russland-IOC

Pressechronik Russland-IAAF

UDSSR Doping-Geschichte Anfänge

Leichtathletik / IAAF und Russland

Whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova und Vitali Stepanov

Fußball Russland

Dokumente, Texte, Meinungen Russland-Doping 2016 – 2020


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