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SIDEBAR German starts online petition to have Stepanova run in Rio

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - An online petition has been started in order to have Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after all, with almost 21,000 users signing by mid-afternoon Tuesday, up from 600 a few hours earlier.

Kaj Beuter from the city of Darmstadt, Germany, has asked International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach to reconsider Sunday‘s IOC decision to bar Stepanova from competing next month because she has doped in the past.

The 800-metre runner Stepanova and her husband helped uncover widespread and state-sponsored doping in Russia via a German TV documentary broadcast in 2014. She was declared eligible to compete in Rio by the ruling athletics body IAAF but the IOC then stopped her.

"It is not the first time that we owe it to a courageous person that catastrophic wrongdoings are uncovered," Beuter wrote in the petition adressed to Bach.

"Please let the whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, in recognition of her contribution in clearing up one of the biggest doping scandals, compete under the neutral Olympic flag in Rio."

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