Olympics: IAAF whistleblower Stepanova eligible to compete under neutral flag

Russian doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova has been declared eligible to compete at the Rio Olympics under a neutral flag.
Russian doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova has been declared eligible to compete at the Rio Olympics under a neutral flag.PHOTO: EPA

(AFP) - Once-banned Russian doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova has been declared eligible to compete at the Rio Olympics under a neutral flag, the International Association of Athletics Federations (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 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).