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Hajo Seppelt, the German journalist who was the first to report on the ease of purchasing performance enhancing drugs in Kenya while posing undercover as a sports agent, has now exposed apparent systematic doping in Russia. Seppelt has said that a follow-up documentary may take place after having received additional evidence since the first three-part series aired, earlier this month. In addition to supposed systematic doping in Russia, Seppelt on ZRF/ARD Televsion reported that IAAF officials took bribes and covered-up positive test results from the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Asked how he came across information to do with the Russian doping allegations, he told Athletics Illustrated, “After our reports at the Sochi games about the use of the Xenon gas by a lot of Russian athletes and a new doping substance offered by a Russian scientist, we were approached by people who wanted to tell us about much more in regards of performance enhancement in Russia.”
Seppelt, who originally exposed apparent common doping practices going on in Kenya, as well as the infamous Matthew Kisorio-led allegations of widespread doping, started talking confidentially with many people in Russia, “I talked to athletes, coaches and other persons. The main contact we could establish to a former employee of the Russian Anti Doping Agency (Rusada), Vitaliy Stepanov, and his wife Yuliya, a world-class 800m runner, who is currently banned,” said Seppelt. “They deserve the most respect, because they came to us offering evidence.”
Since the blockbuster news came out about wide-spread doping practices that have gone on in Russia as well as apparent bribery and cover-ups from the IAAF, three top IAAF bureaucrats have stepped down. They include Dr. Gabriel Dollé, the director of the medical and anti-doping department at the IAAF. Dollé was an important figure in the body, as he oversaw all doping-related aspects of IAAF events, athletes and associated matters, the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.
The son of the president of the IAAF, Papa Massata Diack, has stepped down and is relinquishing his duties, to do with marketing. He has been implicated in apparent bribes, where it is said he was seeking several million dollars in advance of approving Doha, Qatar’s imminent approval to host the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships. Diack denies wrongdoing, of course.
The third person to step down was Treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev, he has voluntarily decided to ceased exercising his duties as treasurer and council member until an independent IAAF Ethics Commission’s investigation has concluded.
Finally, Lord Sebastion Coe, who is campaigning to become the new president of the IAAF, said that Russia could be suspended by the IAAF in light of the suspected systematic doping program that they have apparently been running and covering up.
RUSADA is also under the microscope for apparent extortion of Russian 800m runner Stepanov, she paid Rusada approximately $600,000 to cover up her positive drug test, ironically, her husband’s career has focused on eradicating doping in sport and is an employee with RUSADA; he helped his wife dope and is now helping his wife expose Russia and RUSADA through the media, which has manifested in the three-part documentary that aired on ZRF/ARD television. Apparently more people are coming forward with evidence.
Additionally, the IAAF is being accused of covering up over 150 positive tests from Russians, dozens from Kenya and several from England, Ethiopia and other countries.
This drama is far from over; stay tuned.