Following the announcement that the Russian Olympic Team might be facing disqualification from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics for doping, athletes from all over the world showed their support for the whistleblowers involved in the now infamous scandal through a crowdfunding campaign.
“Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov are the world’s most renowned anti-doping whistleblowers. At great personal sacrifice and risk, the Stepanovs exposed widespread doping in athletics in their home country of Russia. They have since fled Russia for the United States, with their two-year-old son Robert, where they are living most modestly. They dream of a brighter, more secure future for their family that includes Yuliya competing internationally as a clean athlete; furthering their educations; securing fulfilling employment; ensuring opportunity for their son; and, of course, being able to contribute to their adoptive country.”
Yuliya, a former Russian athlete, shared everything she knew about doping with Vitaly and he began to uncovering everything he could about the wrongdoings within the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). Together, the couple provided all information they had collected to journalist Hajo Seppelt of German ARD TV. World Anti-Doping Agency’s Independent Commission confirmed the allegations of widespread doping in Russian athletics in a report that was released in 2015. Last month, the Russian Track and Field team was disqualified from the upcoming Olympic games for doping.
U.S. sprinter/bobsledder, Lauryn Williams, along with German discus thrower, Robert Harting, New Zealand skeleton racer, Ben Sanford, and Canada cross-country skier Beckie Scottie all supported the Stepanov family in videos, which are featured on the website.
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