IOC only cares about saving the organisation: Russian whistleblower

Prince Singh / 27 July 2016

According to  reports the Russian whistleblower who played a vital role in uncovering the  doping scandal in Russia has claimed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is more concerned about protecting the organisation than helping the world sports to get rid of drugs cheats.

The IOC decided against an all-out ban over state-run doping and left international sports federations with the job of clearing athletes for the Games which start on August 5.However, it said athletes who have been sanctioned in the past for doping would not be eligible for Rio.

“My personal view, from the communications we had with people from the IOC, those people had no interest in a clean sport,” Vitaly Stepanov, husband of former Russian drugs cheat Yulia Stepanova, said.

“I got the impression the only thing they cared about, even the person from the ethics department, is protecting the IOC as an organisation.”

Stepanov, who used to work for Russia’s anti-doping agency, and his wife helped expose the doping scandal which threatened to impose a blanket ban on Russia from the Olympics.

The couple, scared for their lives, now live in an undisclosed location in the United States.

Stepanov said that IOC’s invitation to watch the games after rejecting his wife’s request of running in the game as an independent athlete felt like they were being bought.

“I felt like, ‘Are you trying to buy us?’” he said. “Is that how IOC treats whistleblowers? Make them quiet by giving them IOC accreditation and access to VIP lounges.”

Meanwhile,  the American anti-doping body, USADA also hit out at the IOC’s decision to ban  Yuliya Stepanova from taking part in the Olympics.

“The decision to refuse her entry into the Games is incomprehensible and contrary to CAS precedent. The attempt to enforce it will undoubtedly deter whistleblowers in the future from coming forward,” said Travis T. Tygart, the chief executive of USADA.