LAUSANNE: The IOC’s decision to snub both Yulia Stepanova and the world athletics federation has been tackled by the whistleblower herself.
On Sunday the executive board of the International Olympic Committee barred the 800m runner from the Rio Olympics even though it was her evidence which blew open the Russian doping scandal.
The IAAF has no objection to Stepanova running under a neutral flag in Rio but the IOC decided she would be invited as a guest but could not compete because she was a Russian who had failed a previous dope test.
In a statement, the 30-year-old claimed the IOC decision would also put off future whistleblowers from coming forward and that it contradicted previous decisions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She has indicated she will appeal.
Stepanova and husband Vitaly, a former Russian Anti-Doping Agency official, gave evidence to investigative reporter Hajo Seppelt which he used in the TV documentary which first exposed the Russian doping and cover-up strategy.
That led to the Pound and McLaren reports, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which further highlighted Russia’s extensive doping.
Stepanova was sanctioned for doping in 2013 and has always claimed she was trapped in a Russian system and had no choice but to comply. The IOC said it took this into account when deciding to ban her from Rio.
Her statement added: “Yulia asked to compete in Rio not to receive an extraordinary benefit, but to simply restore her to the position she would have been in had she never exposed Russia’s systemic doping programme.”