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Geneva, July 8: The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has requested an evaluation from its ethics commission concerning the participation of Russian runner Yulia Stepanova at the 2016 Olympics next month.
Russian ex-doping official Vitaly Stepanov and his wife, Russian runner Yulia Stepanova, were in the centre of a series of documentaries on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports aired by German TV Channel ARD in December 2014, reports Tass.
The ARD’s two-part documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case), claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.
"As the subject of a participation of Yulia 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," IOC said in a statement on Thursday.
"This comes after the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Doping Review Board, chaired by Robert Hersh, declared Stepanova… eligible to compete in international track and field competitions as a neutral athlete… 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'.
"According to the IAAF criteria, such a participation is always subject to the rules of the organiser of the relevant international competition — in this case it is therefore subject to the Olympic Charter," the statement said.
"The deliberations of the IOC Ethics Commission will include the opportunity for a hearing for Stepanova," the statement from the IOC said.
"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."