CHEBOKSARY, August 4. /TASS/. Russian runner Kristina Ugarova who was accused of using banned substances in a documentary aired by the German television channel ARD told TASS on Tuesday she fell victim to a provocation from her former team mate Yulia Stepanova.
The German television channel ARD aired a new documentary on Saturday, bringing fresh doping allegations against Russian athletes. Journalist Hajo Zeppelt used audio materials provided by Russian athlete Yulia Stepanova to claim he had evidence that another four Russian female runners, including Kristina Ugarova, had used banned substances.
"I’m very surprised by what Yulia did and have pity for her," Ugarova told TASS.
"She was my friend in the team and we endured a lot together. I couldn’t imagine that she could do this. I said quite different things. But my monolog was put together of separate pieces and many words were taken out of the context and some words were completely cut off," she said.
"If Yulia and I really had this talk, then it was held in October last year," Ugarova told TASS.
"As I understand now, she then specially invited me, provoking me to talk about doping. But I told her that it was necessary to develop your best physical qualities but she twisted all words differently. She tried hard at that time to get me to talk. It is horrible when a person betrays her comrades and coaches," Ugarova said.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said on Sunday it would request its independent commission to study fresh allegations regarding widespread doping in international athletics brought in the television documentary released by German broadcaster ARD on August 1.
"The documentary alleges that ARD and The Sunday Times obtained a leaked database, belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations, which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012," WADA said in a statement.
According to The Sunday Times, a third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests. The newspaper further said that none of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.
The newspaper also claimed that Russian athletes suspected of doping had won 80% of medals for their country in endurance competitions at Olympic Games and World Championships between 2001 and 2012.
Commenting on the news, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Sunday the emergence of materials on the alleged doping abuse by athletes, including from Russia, was an element of struggle for power at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
"Apparently, some people want to ruin athletics by releasing such documentaries. But in any case, you can’t use the documentary to bring accusations," Mutko said. "New elections of the [IAAF] president are coming in August and an ordinary struggle for power is under way," he said.