WADA knew about Russian doping for years: whistleblower

Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:04pm EST
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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was aware of systematic doping in Russia for years but did nothing until a documentary jolted the agency into action, a former Russian Anti-Doping Agency official told CBC.

Vitaly Stepanov and wife Yuliya, an international runner who was banned for doping, were the whistleblowers who provided key evidence for a German television documentary that led to the establishment of a WADA independent commission.

Now in hiding, Vitaly told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp in an interview that aired on Wednesday that in 2010 he secretly began sending details to WADA about how Russia's doping system functioned.

With no action being taken by WADA, Vitaly said he was told by an unnamed official at the agency that the best advice he could provide was to go to the media.

"Of course both of us were frustrated at some point because we just didn't know if anything was happening, like even at WADA there were people who did not want this story to get out," Stepanov told CBC.

WADA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vitaly's frustration reached a boiling point in 2013 when he says his wife was used as pawn and returned a positive test so the Russian anti-doping agency would appear to be doing its job.

Soon afterward Yuliya came clean in a letter to WADA outlining everything she took and how and whose direction. As the CBC said, "she named names."   Continued...

Sportsmen train at a local stadium in the southern city of Stavropol, Russia, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko