The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Russian doping whistleblower Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya in recognition of their efforts, a spokesman said Monday.
The Stepanovs were instrumental in exposing doping in Russian sport that led to the country being banned from international athletics while dozens of competitors were banned from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics this year.
They are now in hiding in the United States but an IOC spokesman confirmed a report by the insidethegames.com website that IOC president Thomas Bach had met them and agreed the work.
“The president met them some weeks ago and we are offering support to both,” Mark Adams told AFP.
The couple had complained about the IOC’s attitude after Stepanova was banned from competing at the Rio Olympics this year because of a past doping sanction. Under the new deal, Stepanov, a former top official of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, will be an anti-doping consultant. His wife, a middle distance runner, has been given a training scholarship.
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“We are very happy that we are now in a position to further fight doping and bring in our experiences in Russia and as whistleblowers,” Stepanov told insidethegames.com when he confirmed the IOC deal.
Russia, which has denied accusations by a World Anti-Doping Agency report of state-sanctioned doping, is struggling to get back into international athletics.