Russian whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, who limped home injured and last in her 800 metres heat here at the European Athletics Championships before being disqualified for a lane infringement, was today thanked for her courage by Sebastian Coe, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, who invited her to attend the forthcoming IAAF Values Commission.
Stepanova, whose covert evidence played a major part in the imposition of the current international ban on Russian track and field athletes for doping abuses, met Coe and the European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen today and thanked them for “giving her permission to compete again” under a neutral flag, adding: “I hope what you did for me will give permission for more athletes.
“If you want to do something right, people in the world will support you to do the right thing.”
The former Russian runner, who completed a two-year doping ban last year, had an MRI scan on her injured right foot today that confirmed a partial rupture of the plantar fascia ligament.
A release issued by European Athletics said Coe invited Stepanova to share her views and experiences with the IAAF Values Commission which will hold its first meeting later this year.
Coe told Stepanova: “I want young athletes to feel strong about the decisions they make and the people they have around them to help them see the future.
“I would like you to help us understand the true nature of the problems young athletes can face and how decisions them make affect them.”
Hansen added: “It was our pleasure to invite you to compete her at our European Athletics Championships.
“You have the full support of European Athletics.
“I am just sorry you sustained an injury last night but hope it will get better quickly.
“Your bravery and determination we want to share with others across Europe.
“We must all learn lessons from you.”