Every Swim Coach Should Watch This Show



And in an internal document of the IAAF, that is passed on to me, such a refund is actually confirmed as a fact. The Ethics Commission of the IAAF is now investigating. Interestingly enough against Shobukhova on grounds of bribery. The IAAF will not comment on this.


Balakhnichev continues to prefer to remain silent. Just like his federation coach Melnikov. Balakhnichev, the man who supervised all the cash-flows of the IAAF. He is namely the Treasurer of the World Association. It could be the biggest corruption scandal in the history of athletics.


Once again, the anonymous informant reports. He tells of a phone call. Says he was threatened with death should he pass on what he knows. There it is again. The theme, about which I’ve heard so often on my travels through Russia: Fear and intimidation appear to belong to the system.


Valentin Krugliakov: “One has just been suspended for two years. And he had tried to do something about it and then they told him: leave it, otherwise you might accidentally get in a car accident.”


Coach squad athletes (anonymous): “When you talk about such things, it can be very dangerous. An accident can happen, you know. Anything could happen. Some people have tried to kill themselves. With one of them that I know about, they had not managed to save him.”


There is much evidence and many statements received over the course of almost a year. One last time, I’m in Montreal at the World Anti-Doping Agency. Vitaliy Stepanov and his wife Yuliya had already reported some of it to the WADA. In this moment, the WADA founding President Richard Pound and WADA Director-General David Howman see for the first time the extent that doping has reached in Russia.


Richard Pound, WADA founding President: “I think you put together a pretty comprehensive and extremly alarming case. If that becomes public and it is made public, somebody has to come up with an answer. If something of this nature is being organized by any country it is a very serious problem for the credibility of international sport and the credibility of anti-doping efforts. It is also pretty dreadful to see, that an international federation is involved in this. And I think, that is equally serious.”

David Howman, WADA Director: “Well, the combination of all is terribly shocking. Individual components are disappointing. When you combine everything and you look at the facts of this documentation and oft the other things, that I have heard and seen, of course it is shocking. What we have gotta do is to be fearless in approaching this issues and make sure that those who are suffering from fear are protected.”


The fact that the image of an entire sports nation is at stake, now apparently also appears to have been understood in Russia. In August, the State television reported on an anti-doping summit – chaired by Minister of Sport Mutko. Six coaches had been suspended on grounds of the procurement of doping preparations. But the names remained secret. And they are still unknown today. Afterwards, it could be read in the newspapers that the Government now wants to proceed with an iron fist against doping in sport.


Yuliya Stepanova is in Kyrgyzstan in a training camp. Her suspension will end next January. Soon she should start again in competitions. She is coached by Vladimir Kazarin. The coach who also coaches Olympic champion Maria Savinova. Savinova, who spoke on the cell phone video about doping practices. After the first training the coach asks Yuliya to come to him. She starts filming. I am also in posession of the original and uncut video.


Vladimir Kazarin: “We can still work with Oxandrolone and Primobolan. And, of course, in the beginning with EPO. But we must take care that you stay within the limits, in case a control comes.”

Vladimir Kazarin: “So, here are your pills.”

Yuliya Stepanova: “What is that?”

Vladimir Kazarin: “Oxandrolone.”


She quickly films the pills when Kazarin briefly leaves the room. The camera remains on the whole time, as Yuliya Stepanova goes back to her room. My subsequent question about this incident is left unanswered by Vladimir Kazarin. Neither the Russian Athletics Federation nor a Russian coach will ever respond to the shocking allegations.


But are Kazarin’s pills really Oxandrolone, the potent anabolic steroid? In the Cologne doping control laboratory the substance was analyzed last week.


Mario Thevis, doping researcher: “The pills that you brought us, clearly contain Oxandrolone, an anabolic agent, to be precise an anabolic androgenic steroid hormone, and the taking of such drugs is prohibited at any time, during competition and outside of competition.”


This is the facade. Nobody should be able to see the system behind it. But does something like this only exist in Russia? A few days ago I received the hint that it would be well worthwhile also taking a closer look in several other countries. Lists of winners of international championships – often only protocols of fraud.

55:03 pm

A final visit to Vitaliy Stepanov and his wife Yuliya. With their decision to reveal the apparent doping and corruption system to the world in this way, they have exposed themselves to great risks and have thus become probably the most important whistleblowers in the history of the fight against doping. It was important to them because they want clean sport. Also for their personal future.


Vitaliy Stepanov: “We have a son who is eight month old now and of course, we love sports and we hope that maybe one day our son wants as both of US share our love with US and maybe he would want to be a football player or a runner or a Nordic skis of or a biathlete and we would like to make sure that when he starts training he achieves results with his own abilities and in fair competition.”


Yuliya Stepanov: “What I’m doing here, that I am telling all this – as a result, I will probably become public enemy No. 1 for Russia. Because I’m talking about the system that we have – I am behaving badly in other words. I betray our country to the whole world. This is bad. After that is broadcast, when the Government finds out about it – then life in Russia will be very difficult. I think that Russia will not forgive something like this.”

57:01 pm

Last week, the WADA had written to Yuliya Stepanova and her husband Vitaliy. WADA confirmed that both of them with their courage and their efforts have made a valuable contribution in the fight against doping. Yuliya Stepanova wants to return to her sport. Without doping. Vitaliy Stepanov wants to help her.

A few days ago, together with their son they left Russia forever.

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