07 Jul 2016
As the subject of a participation of Mrs Iuliia 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.
This comes after the IAAF Doping Review Board, chaired by Robert Hersh (USA), declared Mrs 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 organiser of the relevant international competition – in this case it is therefore subject to the Olympic Charter.
In a letter dated 5 July 2016, Mrs Stepanova requested from the IOC the right to compete as a neutral athlete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, having fulfilled the qualification criteria established by the IAAF.
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.
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.