The IOC Executive Board is asking its Ethics Commission for advice after Russian whistleblower Juliia Stepanova, claiming to have fulfilled the qualification criteria
established by the IAAF, in a letter dated July 5th requested from the IOC the right to compete as a neutral athlete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. “As the subject of a participation of Mrs Juliia Stepanova in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 involves important ethical aspects, the IOC Executive Board (EB) has decided to ask the IOC Ethics Commission for its advice in this respect,” the IOC said in a press release.
This comes after the IAAF Doping Review Board, chaired by Robert Hersh (USA),
declared Juliia Stepanova (Russia/800m) eligible to compete in international track and field competitions as a neutral athlete under IAAF Competition Rule 22.1A (c) for having made a truly exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of the sport.”In a letter dated the same day, the Secretary General of the IAAF notified the IOC that Mrs Stepanova is eligible to compete in international competitions as a neutral athlete with immediate effect, including at the forthcoming Olympic Games. According to the IAAF criteria, such a participation is always subject to the rules of the organizer of the relevant international competition in this case it is therefore subject to the Olympic Charter.
The deliberations of the IOC Ethics Commission will include the opportunity for a
hearing for Mrs Stepanova. As soon as the advice of the IOC Ethics Commission is available, the IOC EB will then take all of the circumstances of the case into consideration and decide whether it merits an exception to the rules of the Olympic Charter.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.