Russian doping scandal whisleblower says IOC is more concerned about protecting itself

A Russian whistleblower who helped uncover the biggest doping scandal in decades has said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is more concerned about protecting the organisation than ridding world sport of drugs cheats.

Vitaly Stepanov, who previously worked for Russia's anti-doping agency, said that based on his communications with people from the IOC, he believes those people "had no interest in clean sport".

On Sunday, the IOC decided not to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes participating in the Games despite the country's doping history, instead allowing sports federations to decide on individual cases.

The decision was widely criticised, with leading figures in the world of sport accusing the IOC of "passing the buck" by not banning Russia from Rio 2016.

"I got the impression the only thing they cared about, even the person from the ethics department, is protecting the IOC as an organisation," Mr Stepanov said.

He and his wife, former Russian drugs cheat Yulia Stepanova, both helped expose the doping scandal which threatened to exclude Russia from the Olympics.

The IOC rejected a request by Ms Stepanova to run in the Rio Games as an independent athlete, but extended an invite to the couple to watch as spectators - a move Mr Stepanov said felt like they were both being bought.

"I felt like, 'Are you trying to buy us?'," he said. "Is that how the IOC treats whistleblowers? Make them quiet by giving them IOC accreditation and access to VIP lounges."

The couple, who fear for their lives, now live in an undisclosed location.

A spokesperson for the IOC could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.