© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated
German television and radio journalist, who specialises in sport and doping investigative journalism, Hajo Seppelt, has uncovered what appears to be a doping scandal heretofore unseen in the sport of Athletics. Tonight, ARD – the station that he works for – will broadcast a documentary on a Russian doping scandal so pervasive, that it may unseat all other doping scandals in the sport of athletics including those of Marion Jones, Ben Johnson and the recent scandal in Turkey, where dozens of athletes were sanctioned at once.
Disgraced World Marathon Majors winner-cum-sanctioned Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova will be featured, where she apparently paid $600,000 USD to the Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) to avoid a competition ban.
Blockbuster news includes the insinuation and apparent evidence that Valentin Balakhnichev, the President of the RAF and treasurer of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was involved in the bribery scandal. Additionally, the issue appears to be systemic in Russia, as the documentary implicates Sergey Portugalov – a physician and Alexey Melnikov a head coach with the RAF as involved in a systematic doping program as well as efforts to cover up positive test results.
The documentary also implicates doping that goes on in several other sports that Russia is internationally dominant in. Meanwhile Russian middle-distance runners were recorded over the phone talking about doping practices.
In February of 2014 Athletics Illustrated wrote about Russia having a major issue with new doping practices:
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently found out that a newly developed muscle-building drug – invisible when using current doping test procedures – was made available to undercover German journalists, who were posing as athlete representatives.
As widely reported, WADA expressed outrage that a Russian scientist from a renowned Russian Academy of Sciences apparently provided a free sample – for the purpose of selling – the new potent and undetectable muscle-building drug to the journalists. WADA Director General David Howman said, “The substance has previously been trialled on animals only.” The drug was reported as a Mechano Growth Factor (MGF).
Athletics Illustrated twice interviewed Heir Seppelt in regards to Kenyan doping, where he went undercover to Kenya as a sports agent, to investigate how easily one could acquire performance enhancing drugs. It was easy and the ARD documentary and interview exposed the Kenyan doping issue, so much so that Athletics Kenya President Isiah Kiplagat hastily announced that all foreign coaches and agents that are not authorised directly by AK to leave the country within one week’s time.
Seppelt recently spent time undercover in Kenya posing as a sports agent. His report, broadcast on German television as well as radio, has created a firestorm of controversy within Athletics Kenya. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey visited Kenya and asked the sports officials to investigate the matter.
One of the athletes implicated Mathew Kisorio, has received a two-year suspension. As a result of the broadcast Athletics Kenya’s Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat announced an ultimatum on October 17th that all foreign coaches working in Kenya without permits must leave the country in one week’s time. The announcement came one week after the report aired.