International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has remarked the IOC is not responsible for dangers to which Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova may be exposed.

Yulia made allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia and was then forced to go into hiding in the United States with husband Vitaly, a former Russian anti-doping official. The Russian track and field athlete provided evidence that the Russian government for years facilitated widespread cheating across nearly all Olympic sports. Her revelations along with those of the former Russian anti-doping laboratory triggered a series of investigations including one from the World Anti-Doping Agency. The WADA report, McLaren report issued last month, described how Russians were replacing positive doping samples with clean ones during the Sochi Games with the support of the Russian secret service.

Last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Yulia’s online doping management account, which includes her location and address, had been illegally accessed. The Russian athlete the accessing of her account was done for discovering her whereabouts. Yulia has been branded a traitor by many people back home in Russia. In a conference call days ago, Stepanova remarked if something happens to us then you should know that it is not an accident.

The world governing body of athletics, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), praised her and she was cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics but the International Olympic Committee banned Stepanova because of her doping past and instead sent her an invitation to attend as a guest.

Bach remarked the ethics commission had to answer the question whether it was appropriate to change the constitution of the IOC for Yulia Stepanova in order to be able to allow her to compete in the Rio Olympics and added it came to the conclusion this would not be appropriate. The IOC President also remarked we invited her to come and we offered her support if she should need it not only support for her life but also for her sporting career. Bach also defended decision of the IOC to allow some Russians to compete after international federations cleared them saying it was a decision to protect clean athletes. The International Olympic Committee President said we have taken a decision there in the interests of athletes, defending the individual rights of these athletes and not making athletes be responsible for irregularities of their government.

Bach also remarked all samples from Russian athletes at Sochi would be retested. He also said they would also be checked for any tampering, as described in the McLaren report.

Declaring Rio Games closed, Bach urged the youths of the world to assemble in Tokyo in 2020 for the next edition of the quadrennial showpiece. The International Olympic Committee President officially declared the Games closed in the presence of over 60,000 spectators and over 11,000 athletes from across the globe at the historic Maracana. Bach commented Rio 2016 would be remembered as an iconic games, not only for its historic sporting achievements, but also because of the spirit and passion of the Brazilian people.

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