Russian doping whistleblowers Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov fear for their lives
'If something happens to us, you should know that it’s not an accident,' says athlete in hiding
Two Russian athletes who brought to light the extent of doping in Russian sports now fear for their lives and have moved to yet another secret location for their safety.
Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov spoke to CBC's Adrienne Arsenault via Skype from their latest hiding spot.
"If something happens to us, you should know that it's not an accident," said Yuliya.
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The couple said they have already made arrangements for people to take care of their toddler son if something does happen to them.
On Saturday, CBC News reported that Yuliya's email and Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) account, used by the World Anti-Doping Agency so athletes can enter their whereabouts to facilitate testing, were hacked.
She said she has not been able to access either account, and she's particularly worried about the ADAMS account hack.
"The only reason somebody would hack an ADAMS account is to find out your exact location," she said. "We are very worried about our safety because we have a small child."
Investigation started in 2014
The couple have been very careful ever since they first began working with WADA and the International Olympic Committee in December 2014.
They said investigators told them not to share their location with anyone.
By speaking out, Yuliya said, she never wanted to harm the athletes or her country.
"First and foremost, I've wanted for the system of preparing these athletes to radically change," she said.
Her husband took a harder line, saying anyone who has been a professional athlete in Russia for at least three years knows there is cheating, where it happens, and who covers it up.
An 800-metre runner, Yuliya was not allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics because of her doping background.