Andrey Dmitriev knows that his testimony is unlikely to go down well back home - but the Russian 1,500 metres runner is determined to speak out. "”If everyone remains silent, as is usual in Russia, nothing will change",” says Dmitriev in an ARD exclusive interview. Seeing no sign of change in the Russian athletics world, he has declared his willingness to work as a whistleblower.
Dmitriev has evidence to support his claims. Like Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, the first Russian whistleblowers, he shot secret video footage. Recorded on January 12, the resulting images feature Vladimir Kazarin, one of the most successful 800 meters coaches in the world - and currently suspended due to doping practices. He is seen in a sports hall in Chelyabinsk during a training session for 400 metres runner Artem Denmukhametov. "”I would not see him just letting it go. He just continues coaching",” said Dmitriev during a meeting in Kazakhstan.
"It’s imitating changes, but there are none really"
He also reports having seen Kazarin at a training camp in Kyrgyzstan in November 2016. This is the same man who previously supplied Yuliya Stepanova with banned substances, and coached 800 meters Olympic champion Mariya Savinova. The latter was later stripped of her gold medal due to doping offences. In April 2016 the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) instructed its regional associations to cease working with Kazarin - albeit, as it seems, to no avail. Andrey Dmitriev is in no doubt: ”"You say that we are changing, but these people are still there. This is just hypocrisy for me. It’s lying. It’s imitating changes, but there are none really.”"
Dmitriev stresses that Kazarin is not the only individual still working despite earlier doping practices. He has given Germany’s ARD further names of prominent Russian coaches who ”are unable to work without doping” and who he claims are still active. Kazarin is not even the biggest name involved, claims Dmitriev. "I see the coaches who I know use doping, they are still there. And the athletes who I know for sure were doping, they still train there.”"
Vladimir Kazarin himself has not commented on the accusations made against him, likewise all other coaches and athletes named by Andrey Dmitriev. The Russian athletics federation failed to respond when contacted by ARD.