Few women can claim to have had as much impact as Stepanova, Stepanova, who admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs herself, said her marriage to an anti-doping official encouraged her to campaign against doping. The evidence the runner provided formed part of the first World Anti-Doping Agency report, which led to more than 4, Russian track and field athletes being excluded from international competition. Stepanova, her husband and their 8-month-old child fled to Canada, where they applied for political asylum. Stepanova reportedly lives and trains in the U. In December , she was allowed to compete under the neutral flag.
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The ambition of the year-old mother of two is to earn a much better wage as the captain of a boat on the Volga River, which runs through her hometown of Samara. And with the degree she earned in from Samara River College, she should be well on her way -- or already there. But with the system in place on the Volga, the occupation of captain requires her to have prior experience as a ship mechanic. And that job is one of hundreds that are open to men only in Russia, according to the law. A Russian government resolution passed in prohibits women from 38 industries and over jobs it deems to be "dangerous" or "arduous. To this day, the ban covers a swathe of occupations including miner, carpenter, firefighter, train driver, blacksmith, diver, and driver of buses with more than 14 seats. That makes Russia "the country with the most job-related barriers," according to a September World Bank report on gender equality.
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She was killed in action on August 1, , when she was only Yekaterina Budanova was female ace number 2 , and a friend of Lidiya Litvyak. She is credited with 11 victories.