Rio 2016: IOC not responsible for Stepanova - Bach


International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach dismissed suggestions that his organisation has failed doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova at Rio 2016.

Russian 800 metre runner Stepanova was crucial in uncovering a state-sponsored doping programme in her home country.

The IAAF banned all Russian athletes from competing in November last year, although Stepanova was initially granted permission to take part in the Rio Games, despite a suspension for doping against her name.

However, the IOC backtracked on the decision and Stepanova was the victim of hacking during the Games, as an anti-doping account containing personal information was interfered with.

Bach spoke at a news conference on Saturday of an "iconic" Games, but deflected when asked if he had mis-stepped by failing to make Stepanova an icon in the fight against doping.

"I have to reject this, we are not responsible for dangers to which Mrs Stepanova may be exposed," he said.

"The IOC Ethics Commission had to answer the question whether it is appropriate to change the constitution of the IOC, the Olympic charter for Yuliya Stepanova in order to be able to allow her to compete.

"The Ethics Commission, in addressing all the circumstances and addressing all her career and her CV, came to the conclusion that this would not be appropriate.

"We nevertheless expressed our appreciation for her great contribution to the fight against doping.

"We had invited her here to come and we have also offered her support if she should need. We have not only offered support for her life but also offered support for her future career as an athlete."