Russian doping scandal: Whistleblower Yulia Stepanova makes sluggish return to indoor athletics

Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova made a sluggish return to international indoor athletics, finishing last in an 800 metres at the Boston Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.

Reuters January 29, 2017 15:53:43 IST
Russian doping scandal: Whistleblower Yulia Stepanova makes sluggish return to indoor athletics

Boston: Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova made a sluggish return to international indoor athletics, finishing last in an 800 metres at the Boston Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.

The former Russian national team member's time of 2 minutes, 5.14 seconds was more than three seconds off American Charlene Lipsey's winning performance in the opening leg of the IAAF world indoor tour.

Stepanova placed seventh, 0.24 seconds out of sixth.

Russian doping scandal Whistleblower Yulia Stepanova makes sluggish return to indoor athletics

File photo of Yulia Stepanova. AFP

The race was her first in international indoor competition in two years and the 30-year-old ran as a neutral athlete since Russian track and field athletes remain banned from global races.

She and her husband have been living at an undisclosed location in the United States after helping to expose massive doping problems in Russia that led to the country's track and field team being banned.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) cleared the former convicted drug cheat's return to competition as a neutral athlete last year but her European Championships appearance in Amsterdam ended with a torn tendon.

Her only recorded time in competition since then was at an indoor meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, earlier this month, where she ran 800 metres in 2:10:32, more than 12 seconds off her indoor best set in 2011.

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