The IAAF have given the green light for Russian doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova to compete in this summer’s Rio Olympics as a neutral athlete, with the middle distance runner granted “exceptional eligibility.”
The decision was announced by athletics’ governing body on Friday and Stepanova will now also be eligible to compete in the upcoming European Championships in Amsterdam.
The IAAF said Stepanova can compete as someone who has made “a truly exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of the sport.”
The 29-year-old is the first athlete to be given “exceptional eligibility” to compete as a neutral athlete in international competition, the IAAF doping review board said.
The IAAF has suspended the Russian athletics federation from the August 5-21 Games in Rio over doping.
However, Russian athletes who have been subject to independently controlled drug testing have been given the opportunity to compete at the Games. As a result, the IAAF have received more than 80 applications from Russian athletes hoping to prove they are clean.
Although she has been given the all clear by the IAAF, Stepanova must still be accepted by each individual competition in order to race.