As the subject of a participation of 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 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 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, 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 Stepanova.