During the petition I’ve tried several times to get in contact with the IOC. The head of communications Mr. Christian Klaue answered my requests on behalf of the IOC. Here is the conversation we had via email. This is the full conversation and it has not been been shortened except personal data like mail signatures.
Email to the IOC and IOC Press Office on July 31st, 2016
Dear Mr. Thomas Bach,
Dear Mr. De Kepper,
my name is Kaj Beuter and I’m the initiator of the petition “Do not punish the whistleblower – Yuliya Stepanova for Rio” on change.org (https://www.change.org/DopingOlympiaUK).
The central postulation of this petition is to allow Yuliya Stepanova to participate in the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio as an athlete under the neutral flag.
And I’m proud to say, that I’m now speaking in the name of over 66.000 people all over the world who signed this petition within less than one week.
According to Change.org, this amount of signatures in such a short time is extraordinary and remarkable for an online petition. This shows very clearly how important this topic appear to a huge number of sports interested people.
Let me quickly explain my motivation for that petition.
I’m not a sportive man and my interest in sports is not very distinctive. That means I follow sport events occasionally, not paying too much attention. And though I’m in contact now with Yuliya Stepanova, I haven’t had any connection to her before this week. But I’m am a politically interested person and especially human rights, civil courage and engagement are topics I’m really caring about. That’s why I’ve watched very intensively reports in German TV, especially news provided by Hajo Seppelt about systematic doping. I hope you agree that this story really has a significant political dimension and that is where my attention comes from. Provided with information from German press I was shocked to hear the IOC’s decision not to accept Yuliya Stepanova in Rio. And by just taking a short look in the commentary sections of the German and international press I come to the conclusion that I am in good company with this opinion. You might understand that, as a caring citizen, I felt that it was my duty to start this petition.
Whistleblowing, in most cases, is a dangerous and therefore a heroic business. A lot of scandals and grievances have been revealed during the last years only with the help of whistleblowers. I do not want to stretch history too much but especially we Germans know how important it is to speak freely, oppose against injustice and fight for truth. Our history would have been much better if we have had more of that courageous people in the past. Unfortunately it still costs quite an effort to blow the whistle and we should ensure to provide as much motivation as we can to support these people.
There is a point in your charter that says:
“[…] the role of the IOC [..] is to encourage and support the promotion of ethics in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned”
This is a very honorable target and I totally agree that fair play and ethics are the most important values we can teach to young people to make this a better world.
So all I ask is you to stick to your own high standards.
Show the young people that truth and engagement is always the right decision.
Show the young people that the IOC is supporting the Olympic Spirit with best endeavors.
Don’t make Yuliya Stepanova be a victim of political games and bureaucracy.
Good decisions can sometimes be made quick and easy.
I also would like to hand over the signatures of this petition to the IOC.
I kindly ask for a possibility to do so.
I would be very thankful if you could give me the possibility for a personal hand over, preferably in Germany or any other European country.
In the name of 66.000 people, I thank you very much for your attention and hope that you will come to the right decision.
Email reply from Mr. Christian Klaue (Head of Communications, IOC) on August 1st, 2016
Dear Mr. Beuter
Thank you for your email to the IOC. As you know, the IOC Executive Board addressed the issue you have raised on 24 July 2016. The decision of the IOC EB was unanimous and final. The full details of the decision can be found here. The IOC EB expressed its appreciation for Mrs Stepanova’s contribution to the fight against doping and the integrity of sport. Therefore the IOC invited Mrs Stepanova and her husband to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as a guest. Furthermore, the IOC is ready to support Mrs Stepanova so that she can continue her sports career and potentially join a National Olympic Committee.
With regard to the question about her participation at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as a “neutral athlete,” the IOC EB followed the advise of the IOC Ethics Committee and the requirements of the Olympic Charter.
After the decision was taken, Ms. Stepanova and her husband were personally informed by the IOC Director General and the IOC Ethics and Compliance Officer about the result.
Head of Communications for German speaking countries
Email to Mr. Christian Klaue on August 8th, 2016
Dear Mr. Klaue,
due to the fact, that there hasn’t been any official reply to one of my request I would like to address this again to you.
I asked you to give me the chance to hand over the meanwhile 260.000 signatures of the petition personally.
Since this request has been ignored yet, I assume that the IOC is not interested in receiving these signatures, hence not interested in the opinion of the 260.000 supporters worldwide.
Please correct me if this assumption is wrong.
Reply from Mr. Christian Klaue on August 8th, 2016
Dear Mr Beuter
Thank you for your email. The IOC, of course, has taken note of the opinion of the signatories on change.org regarding the participation of Iuliia Stepanova at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. As it is an online petition that is fully visible on the website we have also taken note of the number of signatories and do not need to receive a hard copy.
As you may have seen, the IOC Session on 2 August 2016 fully supported the decision of the IOC EB.
With best regards,
Head of Communications for German speaking countries