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Exclusive: ARD Documentary exposes Doping and Cover-up System in Russia
Active Athletes, Coaches and Insiders come clean

Cologne (ots) - With a degree of clarity previously never seen, athletes, coaches and other whistleblowers have undermined the reputation of this year's Olympic host Russia - before the camera and with plenty of evidence. In the programme "Top-secret Doping: How Russia makes its Winners" (Wednesday, December 3rd 18.50 - 19.50 hrs., Das Erste - First German TV Channel), several people involved in Russian sport deliver extensive evidence about doping and massive corruption and cover-ups. "You cannot achieve the results that you are getting, at least in Russia, whithout doping. You must dope. That's how it is done in Russia. The officials and coaches clearly say by using natural abbility you can only do so well. To get medals you need help. And the help is doping, prohibited substances", Vitaliy Stepanov told the ARD. 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: "That is hammered into the coaches and the coaches hammer it into the athletes. The athletes, therefore, do not think when they are taking banned drugs that they are doing something wrong".

In order to prove the allegations, Yuliya Stepanova has secretly made numerous audio and video recordings at her own risk and made these files available to the ARD. Thus, the recordings prove the involvement of coaches as well as physicians in the drug procurement system or the cover-up of positive doping tests. No one of them responded to inquiries from the ARD.

The President of the Russian Athletics Federation, Valentin Balakhnichev, also left questions from the ARD unanswered and in an interview situation avoided any possible confrontation. Whereby according to research by the ARD-Doping Editorial Group, he was personally probably even involved in the arguably biggest corruption case in the history of athletics. According to her own evidence in the ARD documentary, Liliya Shobukhova, one of the world's best marathon runners, bought herself the right to participate at the 2012 London Olympics in return for a payment of 450,000 Euros to Russian officials, apparently to ensure that her extremely noticeable blood levels would not been sanctioned at that time.

In a cell phone-video passed on to the ARD-Doping Editorial Group, the 800-metre Olympic champion from London 2012, Mariya Savinova, talks about her doping practices, for example, the taking of the banned anabolic agent oxandrolone. Savinova did also not respond to inquiries from the ARD.

The World Anti-Doping Agency is shocked in view of the available concrete and circumstantial evidence. WADA Director-General David Howman said, "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."

Press Contact:

Uwe-Jens Lindner
WDR Press and Information
Tel.: +49 (0) 221 220 7123
uwe-jens.lindner@wdr.de

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