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Russian Whistle-Blower Can Compete At Olympics


Track-and-field's governing body has approved Russian whistle-blower Yulia Stepanova's bid to compete as a neutral athlete in the upcoming European championships and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF on July 1 said that it had accepted her application as the first athlete to compete under "exceptional eligibility."

Stepanova was one of the world's top 800-meter runners before she and her husband, Vitaly Stepanov, a drug-testing official, provided evidence to the World Anti-Doping Agency that doping was systematic in Russian track and field, with officials helping to cover it up.

Russia was banned from all international competition, including the Olympics, by the IAAF in November. That ban was upheld last month when the IAAF said Russia failed to meet reform conditions.

At the same time, however, the IAAF said it would allow individuals to compete as "neutral athletes" if they can show they have been regularly tested by a reliable agency.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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