Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Doping Whistle-Blower Stepanova Injures Foot

Russian doping whistle-blower Yulia Stepanova injured her foot running in a European championships race.

Doping whistle-blower Yulia Stepanova of Russia ran in the European championships on July 6 but had to drop out when she tore a ligament in her right foot.

She was competing in an 800-meter heat as a neutral athlete under a special exemption since Russia has been barred from competing because of a doping scandal.

Stepanova said she had a painful inflammation in that foot before the race. She trailed from the start and never made an attempt to make up lost ground. After "there was a snap" in her foot, she said, she walked to the finish line.

Stepanova was suspended for doping in 2013 but turned whistle-blower this year with spectacular allegations of doping on the Russian team that she said most Russians still don't believe.

Her and her husband's testimony has formed an important part of evidence against Russia in international investigations that lead to the ban on Russian athletes.

Stepanova said she received welcome support and sympathy from European athletes at the championships, but she currently lives in the United States out of fear for her safety.

"Russian media did not believe...we're telling the truth," she said. "They thought we wanted revenge."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters