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  • The Russian Affair

  • The True Story of the Couple Who Uncovered the Greatest Sporting Scandal
  • By: David Walsh
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It was the story that shocked the world: Russian athletics was revealed to be corrupt from top to bottom, with institutionalised doping used to help the nation's athletes win medals they did not truly deserve. But the full story of the couple who blew the whistle has never been told - until now.

Vitaly Stepanov worked for the Russian anti-doping squad, committed to his job; Yuliya Rusanova was one of the country's most promising 800m athletes. When they met, he fell in love with her; she revealed she was taking performance-enhancing drugs. It could have been the end of their relationship, but instead they decided they would reveal the scale and the scope of the corruption in Russian athletics - the bribes, the drugs, the abuse. At enormous personal risk to their marriage and even their lives, they recorded and filmed athletes and officials involved in the scandal and then escaped to Germany to pass on their devastating evidence. 

Now, with award-winning journalist David Walsh, the man who broke the Lance Armstrong story, they reveal the full truth of what went on in Russia and the corrupt system that surrounded everything they did. But The Russian Affair is so much more than an unrivalled account of the biggest sporting scandal, it is a warm and human story of a couple fighting to tell the truth and to save their family at the same time, while facing seemingly insurmountable odds.

©2020 David Walsh (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, UK

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Absolutely incredible

Thank you for your bravery- Julia, Vitaly, Walsh and those who support these brave whistleblowers. What an incredible story- I have recommended it to all of my friends. I am incredibly inspired and my heart is full. Very well written and narrated and well worth the listen, despite not knowing anything about sports. I love running though, and this captured so much of the thrill and appeal that so many of us get from leaping across the earth... what a marvellous book!

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  • Carol H. Campbell
  • 20-10-2020

A new classic for runners and athletes. SO GOOD!

This one was so good I finished and immediately listened all the way through again. I would put this story right up there with Born to Run as a classic must read for runners. Truth, purity of sport, intrigue, true love...this one has it all. And the narrator could not have been better. I am grateful I now know this story.

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  • Tobias
  • 31-08-2020

Reads like a spy novel

Thrilling and at the same time deeply moving. Highly recommended to anyone interested in sports.

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  • martin nally
  • 06-03-2021

Loved it. Story of great people

Great writer captivates the reader so you have to keep reading and listening. Another story that needed to be told.

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  • Sheralyn
  • 10-02-2021

Worse than you thought!

Anyone who loves and follows sport will always have had suspicions but this is quite revelatory about the extent to which performance enhancing went on and how complicit the authorities were, at local and national level and most concerningly the impotent global agencies trying to counter it. One hopes that is now not the case. Broken down into three neat stages the reader warms to Julia in particular as the book progresses. Very well read, the accents are pretty plausible. As Sunday Times readers will know David Walsh knows his stuff. It does make you wonder about the ‘cleanliness’ of the sport we watch.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-2021

Hard to put down !!

Excellent book. Brilliantly written with enthralling story line full of illuminating facts and interesting characters.

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  • Noel Early
  • 27-11-2020

compelling

Story on how Russian athletics cheated it's way to glory. The Stephanovs are hero's in the world of athletics. Story is well written by David Walsh a crusader in the anti doping world, well narrated story.

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  • Sandra Ipppolito
  • 01-10-2020

wonderful book about a terrible situation

I had followed the story from a distance but reading the details has shocked me. How can we trust any of the leading sporting nations? It's not long before doping becomes legal and thus levelling the playing field.

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  • Harry Jones
  • 09-09-2020

Fascinating insight into the world of doping.

The narrator is superb, he does all the voices for the characters and hooks the listener straight away. The story is an insight into the lives of two people who are at the extreme ends of morality and with different backgrounds who are affected by the Russian state sponsored doping. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is either interested in sport or not.

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  • John
  • 18-08-2020

Very enjoyable

Good story as always by david Walsh. Really enjoyed the book. Very easy to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-08-2020

Brilliant!

I was reluctant to purchase this but i have absolutely loved it!
Fantastic journalism by David Walsh and the narrator was brilliant

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