Jerry Kiernan reacts to "ridiculous" decision to bar Russian whistleblower from Olympics

Yuliya Stepanova was previously found guilty of doping offences

Jerry Kiernan

Jerry Kiernan ©INPHO/James Crombie

Former Irish athlete Jerry Kiernan says the decision to prohibit the whistleblower who helped expose the state supported doping programme in Russia from taking part in the Olympics is "ridiculous".

Yuliya Stepanova, who was previously found guilty of doping offences, cannot participate at the Rio games as a neutral entrant after a decision by the International Olympic Committee.

The World Anti-Doping Agency's director general Olivier Niggli was critical of the decision, saying that "WADA is very concerned by the message this sends to whistleblowers for the future".

And Kiernan says that this ruling exposes serious inconsistencies.

"The IOC brought in a rule which says Russians who were previously banned can't participate in the Olympics. So we have an incredible inconsistency here where the likes of Justin Gatlin, who has been banned twice can participate in the Olympics and then one of the highlights of the Olympics will be a showdown between Bolt and Gatlin," he said.

"So Gatlin can participate in the Olympics because he's American but Stepanova can't participate because she's Russian. It's ridiculous."