Our documentaries on the revelation of systematic, state-sponsored doping by Russian and African athletes were the start of the largest doping scandal in athletics in years. Athletes and coaches have been sanctioned. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has even recommended to ban the Russian athletics federation from the Olympics 2016 in Rio. Now the latest investigations found proof that the promised reforms are just lip service.
Vitaly 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.
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 us. Thus, the recordings prove the involvement of one of the head coaches of Russian athletes, Alexei Melnikov, and the leading sports physician Sergey Portugalov in in the drug procurement system and the cover-up of positive doping tests. Both Melnikov and Portugalov refused to answer our questions on doping practices.
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.