‘Others that have been covered up over
the past years by the Russian sports
authorities, they will compete as
supposedly clean athletes’.
Russian drug cheats will be competing
at next month’s Rio Olympics, the
whistleblowers who helped uncover the
country’s doping scandal have told the
BBC.
Vitaly Stepanov, who worked for Russia’s
anti-doping agency, and his wife, former
drugs cheat Yulia Stepanova, helped lift
the lid on Russian doping in a series of
documentaries by German broadcaster
ARD.
Their evidence led to a report
commissioned by the World Anti-Doping
Agency, which uncovered widespread
doping in Russian athletics, and was
followed by the McLaren report.
The latter found Moscow had concealed
hundreds of positive doping tests in
many sports ahead of the Sochi winter
Games.
However, the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) decided not to impose a
blanket ban on Russia competing in Rio.
The Stepanovs said on Tuesday that the
IOC’s stance of leaving governing bodies
to decide whether Russians could take
part in the Games meant there would be
Russian athletes in Rio whose cheating
had previously been covered up.
“Others that have been covered up over
the past years by the Russian sports
authorities, they will compete as
supposedly clean athletes,” the pair said
in a joint BBC interview.
“As the report said it involved 20 summer
Olympic sports, this system of cover ups,
so yes there will be athletes who have
used doping from Russia in Rio.”
The couple have fled Russia and are
living in hiding at an undisclosed location
in North America, after they provided
evidence of doping.
The IOC decided on Sunday not to
impose a total ban on Russian
competitors despite the country’s doping
history.
They asked sports federations, however,
to stop Russian athletes from competing
in Rio who were implicated in the
McLaren report, or had been previously
sanctioned.
This dashed Stepanova’s hopes of
running at the Games as an independent
athlete, which Vitaly said was unfair.
“You didn’t really have a choice if you
wanted to be a member of the national
team,” he said.
“She has served her ban, fully served her
ban, she thinks that she should not be
punished a second time for something
that she did in the past.”

Advertisements