Russian whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova has asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to review the decision to ban her from next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 800 metres runner was yesterday ruled ineligible to compete as a neutral athlete by the IOC Ethics Commission due to her "long implication in a doping system".
It followed confirmation of the IOC Executive Board's decision that Russia will not be able to enter any athlete who has ever been banned for doping, "even if they have served the sanction".
In a statement, Stepanova claimed the IOC decision would put off future whistleblowers from coming forward and that it contradicted previous decisions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The 30-year-old also said that it was "based on wrong and untrue statements".
Last month, Stepanova, who was banned for two years in 2013 following abnormalities in her biological passport, became the first Russian athlete to be granted permission to compete internationally under a neutral flag by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The exemption was granted as it was her allegations which led to the current suspension of Russian athletes from international competition following the scandal over doping in their country.
Her participation at the Games had been viewed by many as key to encouraging more whistleblowers to come forward, but the IOC were required to sanction her participation at the Olympics.
The IOC referred the decision on her participation to its Ethics Commission, who while praising Stepanova's contribution to the "fight against doping", said they took into account her "own long implication, of at least five years, in this doping system".
The Ethics Commission also factored in "the timing of her whistleblowing, which came after the system did not protect her any longer following a positive test for which she was sanctioned for doping for the first time".
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has said it is "very concerned" by the message that Stepanova’s ban from Rio 2016 sends to future whistleblowers.
"WADA has been very vocal in supporting Yuliya’s desire to compete as an independent athlete," said Olivier Niggli, WADA’s director general.
"Ms. Stepanova was instrumental in courageously exposing the single biggest doping scandal of all time."
Stepanova had declined to compete as a member of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team, with ROC President Alexander Zhukov stating she would not have been selected anyway.
The IOC stated that they will invite Stepanova and her husband, fellow whistleblower Vitaliy Stepanov, to Rio 2016, while they claim to be ready to support her in continuing her sports career and potentially joining a National Olympic Committee.
However, the offer has been turned down with the pair saying in a joint letter that "they never blew the whistle with the intent of getting a spectators' invitation to Rio".
"We have not asked for a favour, we have asked for a fair and ethical treatment," added the letter sent to IOC director general, Christophe De Kepper.
"Having an Ethical Committee report untruthfully in spite of all the discussions being recorded, is something that we would never have conceived.
"We respectfully decline your invitation as spectators, but kindly ask you to give Yuliya the fair treatment she deserves."
United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart slammed the IOC’s move to exclude Stepanova, stating that "the decision to refuse her entry to the Games is incomprehensible and will undoubtedly deter whistleblowers in the future coming forward".
The decision has been welcomed though by two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva, who has also been prevented from competing at Rio 2016 as part of the IAAF's ban on the Russian track team.
She told Russian news agency R-Sport that "at least one wise decision on track and field has been taken" in Stepanova's case.
Isinbayeva, who now believes she has virtually no chance of being elected to the IOC Athletes' Commission, also called for Stepanova to be "banned for life".
Competing as a neutral athlete, Stepanova finished an injured last in her 800m heat at this month's European Championships in Amsterdam and was later disqualified for putting her foot on the inside of the track.