LAUSANNE, Switzerland, January 17. IN huge news from Europe, Russian breaststroke superstar Yuliya Efimova has tested positive for the drug dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). According to SovSport in Russia, Efimova only has tested positive with her A sample, and her B sample has yet to be tested.
SovSport is reporting that the positive test occurred out of competition in October, around the time of the FINA World Cup. Should the B sample test positive, Efimova is facing at least two years off the shelf in the sport.
Efimova is looking at losing more than just some time in the sport, as a positive test and subsequent ban would lead her to having to return funds won during the FINA World Cup. That’s more than $50,000 she’d have to give back that could already have been spent.
Depending on the outcome of the B test, Efimova could also be looking at losing her world record in the 50 short course meter breaststroke event and the 200 short course meter breaststroke event, along with short course world titles that would give Ruta Meilutyte a second would championship and Rikke Moeller Pedersen a victory in the 200.
The Russian Swimming Federation released the following statement following news about the positive test.
In connection with media reports emerging today concerning Yuliya Efimova, the Russian Swimming Federation did receive FINA documents related to her professional activities, which are confidential. These documents were handed to the athlete. any speculation from unreliable sources on the content of these documents is considered unacceptable at this point. The Russian Swimming Federation urges the media not to pursue sensational reporting, as this may cause irreparable damage to the athlete.
Efimova has not immediately returned a request for comment by Swimming World.
Efimova trains with the Trojan Swim Club in California, and will have a training partner to lean on who has walked down this similar path. Jessica Hardy tested positive for clenbuterol during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, with news breaking from her A test before her B test also tested positive. Hardy later went on to earn a ban reduction down to one year due to the unintentional manner of her ingestion.
If Efimova’s B sample tests positive, it will be the fourth member of the 2012 Russian Olympic team to have tested positive with Ksenia Moskvina, Ekaterina Andreeva and Natalya Lovtsova all having tested positive since London.
Special thanks to Rokur Jakupsstovu for contributing to this report.