MOSCOW (Reuters) - It would be "absurd" if Russian doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova was allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics while clean Russian athletes are barred from the Games, R-Sport agency quoted Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko as saying on Monday.

Stepanova, an 800 meters runner described as "a courageous athlete" by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), went into hiding after revealing details of widespread cheating in Russian athletics.

The IAAF said on Friday Stepanova could be allowed to compete at the Rio Games as an independent athlete.

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov)