EVERY COACH MUST WATCH (and READ THE TRANSCRIPT provided below, as versions with subtitles have been removed from web.) With a degree of clarity previously never seen, athletes, coaches and other whistleblowers have undermined the reputation of this year’s Olympic and future football World Cup host Russia – before the camera and with plenty of evidence.
Stepanov was an employee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA for three years and even advised the Director-General. He reports for the first time and openly before the camera about his experiences. His wife Yuliya Stepanova (former Yuliya Rusanova), a world-class 800-metre runner, currently suspended because of doping, accuses the Russian sports system of only having achieved many of its successes through large-scale fraud.
The government influence on the apparent doping system is made clear, among other things, by a decree of the government in 2010 under the then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. This indicates that the transport and export of urine and blood samples by foreign inspectors must be approved by the authorities and such samples may be even opened at the borders by customs.
English script of the ARD-documentary “Top-secret Doping: How Russia makes its Winners,” which was broadcasted in Germany. (CET)
This is Yulia Stepanova and Vitaliy Stepanov and their small son Robert. In their native Russia they don’t feel safe anymore. Because they’ve given away a secret. But their story really begins at the beginning of this year.
The Olympic Winter Games in February in Sochi. Russia presents itself as a proud sporting nation. The world’s largest country wins the most gold medals. As already at the World Athletics Championships a year earlier. And as so often at other major sports events. Russia – a superpower in sports.
Shortly after the Games. In my office, I received several emails. In Sochi I had reported on doping in Russia for the first time. Openly and anonymously, now significantly more extraordinary things about Russian sports are being reported to me. Yet I still do not suspect that this could be the starting point of an incredible story. One email message, in particular attracts my attention. From Moscow. From Vitaliy Stepanov and his wife Yuliya.
In April I set off on my way to Russia for the first time. The two of them want to meet me in Moscow. My cameraman is there, but whether he can take pictures of the meeting, I do not know yet. They are afraid. Everything is secret. Am I dealing here with a couple of nutcases or is it really serious? We talk on the phone for the first time.
I am informed about the meeting place. A restaurant on the outskirts of Moscow. A separate room, undisturbed. But only Vitaly has come. After a couple of hours we can shoot. This is Vitaly Stepanov, 32-years- old. I begin to understand why he only dropped hints by email. After studying in the USA, he wanted a job in sports. Fighting doping. That was his dream job.
Vitaliy Stepanov: “I wanted to fight doping. And I wanted to make sports cleaner, more honest, better. I truly believed, that I came to work, to an Anti-Doping Organisation, who will fight doping in Russia and I was not married back then, I was single. I was ready to work 24 hours a day.”
Vitaliy Stepanov loves his job at the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, RUSADA, he manages the training programme, works as a doping control officer, is an adviser to the Director-General. Even the Sports Minister seeks his advice. What happens within RUSADA, he gets to see up close up, he says. The year 2009 will then change him forever. He gets to know Yuliya, at that time still Rusanova.
Original Live Sports Commentary, freestanding (in german) “Yuliya Rusanova. Dritte der Halleneuropameisterschaften.”
At an anti-doping course for athletes. She is one of the best in the world, running the 800 meters in less than 1 minute 57 seconds. Today she is Vitaly’s wife. It was not long before she told him the reason she was so good.
Vitaliy Stepanov: “During our first or second talk she clearly told me, that all athletes in Russia are doping. You cannot achieve the results that you are getting, at least in Russia, without doping. You must dope. That’s how it is done in Russia. The officials and coaches clearly say by using natural ability you can only do so well. To get medals you need help. And the help is doping, prohibited substances.”
An extreme assessment. Now I want to know more, to meet Yuliya Stepanova herself. But first: wait. Days go by.
Then, finally, they invite me and my cameraman to their home – it’s only possibly at those times when Vitaliy’s brother, who also lives here, is not there. What risks they are taking, I only find out later. Yuliya is 28 years old. Currently suspended because of doping. She had kept the records about it. Also from the time when she met her husband.
Yuliya Stepanova: “When we first met, I have opened his eyes. I told him how it really works. He had then accepted it. The coaches have it hammered into them and the 4 coaches hammer it into the athletes. Therefore, the athletes, do not think when they are taking banned drugs that they are doing something illegal.”