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Russian whistleblower can run at Olympics

BBC News BBC News 1/07/2016
Yuliya Stepanova, nee Rusanova © AFP Yuliya Stepanova, nee Rusanova

Russian doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova has been cleared by athletics chiefs to run as a "neutral" at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

The decision, which must be approved by Olympic organisers, comes with the Russian athletics federation banned from international competition.

Stepanova, and husband Vitaly Stepanov, told the World Anti-Doping Agency doping was rife in Russian athletics.

More than 80 Russian athletes have applied for "exceptional eligibility".

The final deadline for applications is 4 July, with a decision on all claims to be made by 18 July.

Stepanova, who is also eligible to compete at next week's European Championships, was banned for two years in 2013 for doping offences.

But the 800m runner's revelations, along with those of husband Vitaly - a drug-testing official, helped expose the doping problem in her country.

Russia was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in November after an independent Wada report depicted a culture of widespread doping.

The IAAF said Stepanova had "made a truly exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of the sport".

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