Russian whistleblower still waiting for Rio go-ahead

Tue Jul 5, 2016 4:25pm EDT
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By Gene Cherry

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova returns to action at the European Athletics Championships on Wednesday but is still waiting to hear from the IOC whether she can participate in the Rio Olympics, her husband told Reuters on Tuesday.

The 800 metres runner, along with husband Vitaly, helped expose massive doping problems in Russia that led to the country's athletics team being banned from international competition.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) last month cleared the former convicted drug cheat's return to competition as a neutral athlete and she will run the 800m Amsterdam.

But athletics' governing body said individual competitions must invite her, leaving it up to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to determine whether the former elite runner can participate in the Aug 5-21 Rio Games.

"Our next step will be to contact the IOC to see if they will accept Yulia's participation in the Rio Olympics," Vitaly Stepanov told Reuters via telephone.


Stepanov said IOC president Thomas Bach had responded to a letter he and his wife had sent to the IOC, IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asking that Yulia be allowed to compete as a neutral athlete.   Continued...