Vitaliy Stepanov has worked for three years at RUSADA, where all domestic controls are commissioned. Even as an advisor to the General Director.
Vitaliy Stepanov: “I clearly could see that officials try to make sure that some athletes are not being tested.”
Reporter: “Which sports?”
Vitaliy Stepanov: “In Swimming, Cycling, Biathlon, Athletics, Weight Lifting, Nordic Skiing.”
A few days go by, then I get an appointment. With Director-General Nikita Kamaev. He came into office after Vitaliy Stepanov had gone. He claims that he has no knowledge of corruption.
Nikita Kamaev, Director RUSADA: “That samples are exchanged and that the RUSADA arbitrarily selects the athletes or even accepts bribes for the conduct of tests – that is not the reality at all. All those athletes who claim that, have previously already violated the doping laws. Such people then turn to journalists and tell stories. For professionals these stories are simply laughable.”
All lies? From so many? And: Vitaliy Stepanov is not a suspended athlete, but for years worked right in the RUSADA headquarters. I also hear from Kamaev, that the RUSADA always operates correctly and that it has always done. A few weeks after my visit, Yuliya Stepanova receives this email.
Unbelievable: The RUSADA asks her to pay for a doping test. And also even to come to RUSADA for it. That athletes themselves pay for testing and go to controls and are not visited by inspectors is contrary to all the rules and international practice. The RUSADA emphasizes later, that, of course, it adheres to the WADA Code. But about the actual accusation: silence.
All facilities to combat doping in sport in Russia – almost 100 percent financed by the State – and controlled by the Government. Almost everything is coordinated with the Ministry of Sport. There it even has its own Anti-doping Department. The Sports Minister is called Vitaliy Mutko, has a seat on the Executive Committee of the scandal-plagued FIFA and has a friendly contact to the President. Vitaliy Stepanov was close to the Ministry for many years.
Vitaliy Stepanov: “I clearly remember one conversation with a person from the ministry in 2010, what it to unofficial talk. He told me, that we don’t like the idea that WADA is trying to control Russian anti doping organization trying to control what we do in Russia.”
How strongly the Government exerts influence, is proved in a paper that was given to me. An Act of Government from 2010 for foreign control officers: the transport and export of urine and blood samples must always be approved. Samples may even be opened on the border. The Decree comes from – Vladimir Putin, at that time, the Prime Minister. Probably in order to make sure that athletes at major championships are not exposed, there is yet another order from the Ministry.
Valentin Krugliakov, 400-metre runner: “They make controls before trips abroad. That way, the head coach is sure that his entire team is clean before the event and that, for example, during the European Championships, absolutely no one is caught. It is easier to weed out such cases before the trip.”
Oleg Popov, coach throwing events: “Those who have not passed these controls, even if they had already been entered for international competitions, they simply did not travel with the team. Which does not always automatically mean that they were also suspended.”
Original comment London 2012 – “Federation Russie. The Russian Federation”
The Russian team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London: In the small print of the annual report of RUSADA 2012 is the confirmation of nationwide controls when leaving the country: each of the almost 500 members of the Olympic team were tested at least once before the start of the Games.
But in response to my questions to the Sports Ministry, once again: no answer. In the meantime, my research has been going on for months. It is gradually adding up to form a picture. It would appear that a doping system is operating which I wouldn’t have believed possible in 2014. And I now receive growing evidence from Russian informants. I should take a look at the case of one prominent Olympic winner.
Original commentary London 2012 (in german) – “Die russische Weltmeisterin Maria Savinova”
Maria Savinova. She was already European and World champion. A world star over 800 metres. Then came the Games in London.
Original commentary London 2012 (in german) – “Ist es das schon? Die Südafrikanerin kommt mit einem fulminanten Endspurt. Jelimo geht ein. Savinova ungefährdet”
I receive video material. From autumn 2014. Taken with a cell phone camera. To be seen is Maria Savinova. Here an excerpt of this video, in which, among other things, she says: