Entry Six: July 2013

The British and Irish Lions returned triumphant from Australia, Chris Froome won the Tour de France, and Andy Murray won Wimbledon. Not a bad trio of victories. Ofcourse, we covered them all on the Mail on Sunday with great attention to detail and with all the colour, verve, passion and analysis that four million readers a month expect.

But one thing I was very keen to do on the Mail on Sunday was to delve beneath the skin of sport a little - to investigate and, if the opportunity arose, to campaign. 

In July, just a few months after I'd started, we published our first investigation. Martha Kelner, young sports journalist of the year, was in the office when a tip off came through. A contact in Russia called to say that he thought there was gross illegality in the Russian drug testing set up. He spoke of athletes paying to get off psitive tests and athletes testing positive when they weren't because they wouldn't pay. We set up a journalist in Russia to talk to all the protagonists in the deabte, and had a Russian translator in the office in the form of Melkon. Nick Harris - our sports investigations specialist, joined the team and they began investigations which produced incredible results.

They talked to people who confirmed the initial allegations as well as athletes whose samples had been lost, and they unearthed the story that the sister of the man who runs the Russian Ant-Doping body had been arrested for handling drugs. It was a most astonishing investigation which went to the heart of corruption in sport. Wada, the world anti-doping authority, went in to check out the Russian system and threatened to close them down if it wasn't sorted out. The investigation made headlines everywhere, but particularly in Russia where the sports minister and even Vladimir Putin himself were moved to comment.

It was a brilliant investigation which made a real difference. It taught me that you really can make a difference. We can cover glamorous sports stars and offer insight and reflection - we can do all that, but we can also make a difference to the sports world, and make it ever so slightly better, safer and more responsible to the athletes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2357501/World-Athletic-Championships-rocked-Mail-Sunday-special-investigation-doping-Russia.html