A Russian whistleblower says at least four Russian gold medalists were using steroids during the Sochi Olympics.
The whistelblower, Vitaly Stepanov, made the accusations in an interview with 60 Minutes’s Armen Keteyian. Stepanov is a former official with the Russian Anti-Doping agency, and currently lives in the United States for fear of retribution.
Stepanov learned of the doping through conversations with another Russian exile, Grigory Rodchenkov, who used to run Russian drug-testing labs. Rodchenkov allegedly told Stepanov that Russian Intelligence Officers helped Russia cheat at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and the country kept a list of who competed while using steroids, with four of those athletes winning gold medals.
Stepanov is also the husband to one of Russia's former top 800-meter runners, Yulia Stepanova. He and his wife were able to gather evidence on the doping within the country. Stepanov provided information on how Russian officials manipulated drug samples to make sure that the country's top sports stars did not fail doping tests. His wife shot undercover footage of athletes and coaches discussing doping practices.
“It’s a stunning revelation,” Travis Tygart, head of the United States Anti Doping Agency, told CBS. “And if true, it’s a devastating blow to the Olympic values.”
The report could lead the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field's governing body, to look into whether Russia’s Track and Field team will be allowed to compete at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio. The team has been suspended from international competition after the World Anti-Doping Agency uncovered evidence of systemic doping and cover-ups of positive tests by athletes, coaches and agents.
The IAAF will hear from the WADA task force at a council meeting on June 17 in Vienna, where they are expected to make a decision on Russia's participation in Rio.