Rio not 'clean', says Russian whistleblower Stepanov

The IOC also ruled that Stepanova could not take part in the Rio Games, but has invited the couple to Rio. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Jul 30, 2016, 05.42 PM (IST)
Russian doping whistleblower Vitaly Stepanov has told a Brazilian newspaper that the Rio Olympics "will not be clean" and blasted the International Olympic Committee for not banning Russia.

Stepanov, who with his 800m runner wife Yuliya Stepanova gave details of the state-run doping programme in Russia, said that despite attempts to clamp down, doping cheats will be in Rio when the Games start on August 5.

"It has always been the case in the Olympics. There has never been a clean Olympics and there is no reason to believe that Rio will be clean," he told O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

"Unfortunately, doped athletes will be competing."

Stepanov gave the interview by telephone. The former Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) official and his wife now live in a secret location in the United States.

The Stepanovs were the key source for a German television documentary in 2014 that set off the doping scandal.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has suspended Russia, including for the Rio Olympics. But after new revelations of state-run doping the IOC decided individual federations should decide which Russians should compete rather than order a blanket ban.

Stepanov said he had expected the IOC decision because the international body "will not support anyone who betrays doping or corruption. They fear informers because that would be the end of the whole system."

"They do not want the truth," added Stepanov, who says he first provided information to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2010.

"The IOC was never interested. We have evidence of corruption in the noble sport of the Olympics, but they never wanted to know."

The IOC decision not to suspend Russia "is not zero tolerance for doping, but for ethics," Stepanov added.

"They want to show the world that all is well and that everything must be undercover. They prefer to hide anything negative because problems mean loss of money. The IOC is not being managed for Olympic values, money wins," he said.

The IOC also ruled that Stepanova could not take part in the Rio Games, but has invited the couple to Rio.