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Russian Doping Whistleblowers Fear for Their Lives

A spokesman for President Vladamir Putin once called Stepanova a 'Judas'

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    AP, File
    File image of Russian doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova who runs under a neutral flag arrives in the stadium to compete in a women's 800m heat during the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

    A Russian couple who blew the whistle on their country's athlete doping program is in fear for their lives after a cyber attack, NBC News reported.

    Yuliya Stepanova, an 800-meter runner, and husband Vitaly, a former doping officer in Russia, have been living in hiding, first in Germany and now in America, for the past two years.They blew the whistle on doping in Russian sports in a documentary by German broadcaster ARD.

    Stepanova herself, once banned for doping while on the Russian team said she felt manipulated by what she calls a corrupt system, and wanted to expose it. 

    Stepanova and her husband have been branded traitors in their home country — a spokesman for President Vladamir Putin once called Stepanova a "Judas" — and have been living like fugitives ever since they decided to expose the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs among Russian athletes.

    Sean Rayford/Getty Images