Unsung heroes in Russia’s sports doping scheme

Two interns of the c-Watch Program (a cyber threat intelligence training curriculum) recently read another intern’s article that was posted to the Sports-ISAO blog. That article declared “Russia is the globe’s reigning World Champion of Hack and Hype”.The term “Hack and Hype” refers to Russia’s tactic of coupling hacking with disinformation, all as part of a strategic plan to disrupt the global leadership that has been built upon Western values. In the following article, these two additional interns take note of the heroic efforts of three Russians whose whistleblowing caused international investigation of Russian athletic doping, and how the sunshine cast upon Russian dishonesty helped to expose Russia’s Hack and Hype cyber strategy. There are three unsung Russian heroes who have unintentionally become the guidon bearers of a new order of cyberspace transparency and decency. The Stepanova family (Yulia and Vitaly), along with Grigory Rodchenkov, exposed the realities of athlete doping within the Russian sports world. But for their heroic acts of whistleblowing, the Sochi Doping Scandal would never have been investigated and unmasked, and Russia’s Hack and Hype game plan would not have been exposed. Simply put, who else but Russia, in retaliation for the anti-doping investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that led to Russia being barred from the Olympics, would hack and seek to undermine WADA’s legitimacy? We owe it to the Stepanovas and to Rodchenkov for revealing the extent of Russia’s dishonesty and cunning. Yuliya Stepanova was a top runner within the Russian track and field national team, and her husband Vitaly was employed by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). The pair fled Russia with their young son in 2014, right before the airing of a German documentary that exposed the widespread Russian state sponsored doping program. Those allegations led to the banning of Russian […]