Yuliya Stepanova, Russian 800-meter runner, has bravely and spectacularly blown the whistle on widespread doping inside her country. Stepanova and her husband, who worked for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), spoke out in 2014 about a sophisticated state-run doping system within Russia. A 95 page report, published this morning by the World Anti-Doping Agency, confirmed Mrs. Stepanova’s claims.
Mrs. Stepanova’s courageous act has not gone unnoticed, as many people and agencies have spoke out regarding her actions. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Doping Review Board hailed Stepanova’s action as “truly exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of the sport.” A special IAAF Anti-Doping Task Force wrote, “She took great personal risk in order to break open a doping culture that no one else on the inside was willing to expose, without her contribution, the unique opportunity that now exists to fix the system would very likely not exist. Yuliya Stepanova has therefore struck a great blow for clean athletes everywhere.”
Additionally, the Russian Doping Review Board has determined that Mrs. Stepanova’s will be the only member (of the Russian track team) eligible to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Mrs. Stepanova’s bravery demonstrates the power and importance of whistleblowers. Mrs. Stepanova has helped restore equity and fairness to the Olympic Games, and has helped ensure the integrity of the games, so that those who seek an illegal and unfair advantage over clean athletes shall not prosper.