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The Russian Affair


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About the Author

David Walsh is chief sportswriter with The Sunday Times. A four-time Irish Sportswriter of the Year and four-time UK Sportswriter of the Year, he was also named the 2012 British Journalist of the year. Coauthor of L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong and author of From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France, he is married with seven children and lives in Suffolk, England.


'More than one review has likened Walsh's book to a Cold War thriller, the true story of the committed anti-doping official who falls in love and marries a star 800m runner who turns out an admitted drugs cheat. The book is a journey through deception, betrayal, infidelity, and an eventual escape from the country.' -- Damien O'Meara * RTE *
'An extraordinary and unlikely romance; and a remarkable tale not just of love but of courage....[Stepanov's] persistence in becoming one of sport's most remarkable whistleblowers...is staggering given everything set against him. When David Walsh, the chief sports writer of The Sunday Times, set out to meet the Stepanovs for the first time, he thought he was writing a doping story...but in The Russian Affair, he has ended up with so much more. The extraordinary, lurching relationship between Vitaly and Yuliya lies at the heart of a turbulent but ultimately inspiring tale. The candour with which they have allowed Walsh to tell their story is rare and gripping.' -- Matt Dickinson * The Times *
'Vitaly Stepanov and Yuliya Stepanova are the doping tester and the drug-taking runner whose unlikely love for one another gives them the moral strength to act as whistleblowers.' -- Nick Greenslade * Sunday Times, Sport Books of the Year *
'What makes this account of Russia's state-sponsored doping so utterly compelling is that at its heart it is a love story about the young couple who blew the lid on the scandal. It is a tale of the implausible, complex and fractious relationship between Vitaly Stepanov and Yuliya Rusanova... The story reads like a fast-paced thriller... This masterful work is so much more than a story about drugs, cover-ups and corruption... A beautiful record of a compelling and emotional journey.' -- James Restall * The Times, Sports Books of the Year *

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