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Doping whistleblower Stepanova 'can compete' under neutral flag

AFPAFP 1/07/2016 J.P. Engelbrecht
The Rio Olympics will be held from August 5 to 21, 2016 © Provided by AFP The Rio Olympics will be held from August 5 to 21, 2016

Once-banned Russian doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova has been declared eligible to compete at the Rio Olympics under a neutral flag, the IAAF said on Friday.

Stepanova, a 29-year-old runner who specialises in the 800 metres, "is now eligible to compete in International Competitions as an independent neutral athlete," the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement.

The IAAF said they had "unanimously accepted the application of Yuliya Stepanova... as someone having made a truly exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of the sport".

Her participation in the Games from August 5-21 is subject to formal approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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