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Doping whistleblower Stepanova to receive German award

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - Doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova is to receive an award in Germany for her part in uncovering state-run doping in Russia.

The Russian middle-distance runner has been chosen for the 10,000-euro (11,000-dollar) Anti-Doping Prize 2016 by the Doping-Opfer-Hilfe (DOH), an organization which supports the victims of doping in sport.

The award will be made in Berlin on December 6.

DOH chairperson Ines Geipel, a former East German world class sprinter, said the doping system in Russia recalled state doping in East Germany, a system which had led to many victims.

"The revelations of Yulia Stepanova and her husband Vitaly Stepanov have shown that intelligence and state doping exist in Russia as a double structure to guarantee a rigorous production success," she said.

Stepanova has been given approval by the ruling athletics body IAAF to take part in international competition, paving the way for an Olympics start next month in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF has suspended the Russian athletics federation from the August 5-21 Games in Rio over doping.

But Stepanova has been allowed to compete "as someone having made a truly exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of the sport."

Stepanova was injured at the track and field European Championships earlier this month when she competed in Amsterdam as an "independent neutral athlete."

She served a two-year doping ban 2013-2015 over abnormalities in her biological blood passport. She and her husband Vitaly then provided information to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on systematic doping in Russia.

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