A new fair play programme is to be launched ahead of next year's Weltklasse Zurich meeting ©Weltklasse Zürich

Whistleblowers Yulia Stepanova and Vitaly Stepanov have been named as ambassadors for a new fair play programme unveiled by the organisers of the Weltklasse Zürich Diamond League meeting.

The programme has been launched in association with Swiss Athletics and the Antidoping Schweiz foundation.

Precise details are still being drawn up, but it will include a forum on "moral courage" with representatives of various industries.

It is expected to be rolled out in the week building up to next year's event, which is due to take place at the Letzigrund on September 1.

Educational workshops will also be held for athletes, coaches and staff members, as well as parents of athletes.

This follows and will build upon an existing scheme set up by Weltklasse Zurich organisers entitled "Fair Play and Human Touch".

“The events of recent months have shown that the core values of sport suffer if there is a lack of fair play or moral courage,” said Christoph Joho, Weltklasse Zurich co-meeting director.

“Therefore, we have reflected on what we can do as organisers of a leading athletics meeting to contribute to and to promote fairness.”

Yulia Stepanova pictured competing over 800 metres at the 2011 World Championships before she was bannd for drugs and turned whistleblower ©Getty Images
Yulia Stepanova pictured competing over 800 metres at the 2011 World Championships before she was bannd for drugs and turned whistleblower ©Getty Images

The Stepanovs are expected to play an important ambassadorial role in promoting the programme.

The revelations made by the husband and wife duo were instrumental in inspiring the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission's verdict of systemic doping across Russian athletics last month.

They have consequently been praised for their bravery in coming forward and have been forced to leave Russia to preserve their security. 

Yulia Stepanova competed over 800 and 1500 metres and came forward in 2014 shortly after she had been banned for two years by the International Association of Athletics Federations following abnormalities in her athlete biological passport.

Together with Vitaly, a former employee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, in 2014, she and her husband Vitaliy Stepanov, a former employee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA, appeared in a documentary broadcast by German channel ARD accusing the Russian sports system of large-scale doping fraud.

Both claimed that Russian athletics officials supplied banned substances in exchange for five per cent of an athlete's earnings and falsified tests together with doping control officers.

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Yulia Stepanova and her husband Vitaly fled Russia after appearing on a programme broadcast by ARD alleging widespread drugs abuse in the country ©ARD

Following the documentary, they moved from Russia to Germany and are currently seeking asylum in Canada. 

They are currently facing the threat of legal action in Russia. 

“Yulia and Vitaly have taken huge personal risks to help disclose violations against our sport’s values,” said Weltklasse Zurich co-meeting director Andreas Hedinger.

“As Weltklasse Zurich Fair Play Ambassadors, they will champion fairness and moral courage and will help promote a cause that is essential for both us as a meeting and for sports as such.

"By appointing them as Fair Play Ambassadors, we also acknowledge their courage and commitment.”