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Bach: IOC would have to «carefully check» Stepanova's Olympic start

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) can‘t make a decision on whether Russian middle-distance runner Yuliya Stepanova can take part in the summer Olympic Games until it receives a request to do so from world athletics body IAAF.

The IAAF is first and foremost responsible for the case, IOC president Thomas Bach explained Wednesday in an interview with German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF in Lausanne.

"If we should get [a request], then we will have to carefully check, how and whether it can be brought in line with regulations," he said.

It was middle-distance runner Stepanova‘s allegations of systematic doping in Russian sports in an ARD documentary broadcast in December 2014 that led to the suspension of Russian athletics.

The IAAF ruled Friday that Russia‘s track and field team is banned from the summer Olympic Games because the country still hasn‘t given up its doping culture.

The move was the first time that a large number of athletes from one country has been excluded from Olympic Games, but exceptions will be considered for clean athletes.

However, the IAAF said any individual athlete who has made an extraordinary contribution to the fight against doping should be able to apply for permission to compete.

"In particular, Yuliya Stepanova‘s case should be considered favourably," the IAAF said in its statement Friday.

The IOC would make a decision on Stepanova entirely independent of national interests, Bach said.

"The Russian government, or any other government, won‘t have any influence on this decision - just like all the other decisions that we‘ve made."

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