REGENSBURG, Germany, January 17. ONE of Yuliya Efimova’s medical advisors has released an interview with the German Academy of Applied Sports Medicine supporting the anti-doping process, and not yet rejecting the alleged positive doping test of Efimova.
The president and founder of GAASM, Dr. Homayun Gharavi, has been working with Efimova since 2009, and had more intensive treatment of the breaststroke star in 2013.Shortly after news broke of Efimova’s positive test for DHEA, Gharavi detailed that he was shocked about the result, but does not doubt them.
“Of course it is shocking,” Gharavi said. “Yet, my first question was ‘how did it happen?’. I have known Yuliya since 2009. She has been to Germany on and off for treatment. In 2013, we started a structured cooperation, where I have been responsible for her land-based training, but also for manual treatment. Working so closely, especially during intensive moments at the London Games, the WC in Barcelona, and the Europeans in Denmark, you get to know the person quite well. Of all the professional athletes I have been working with, Yuliya is one of the most articulate and correct persons. So, the first thoughts in my mind were some wild conspiracy theories.”
Gharavi definitely does not doubt the veracity of the test results, but is hoping that Efimova will have a chance to tell her side of the story.
“The Anti-Doping routines are absolutely reliable and secure … professionally as well as legally,” Gharavi said. “So, I personally have no doubts about that. The results must be accepted as correct. Yuliya called me in a moment of confusion and fear and we had to go back and look for the reason on her side. This morning she told me before boarding the plane to Los Angeles, that despite of the disastrous news, she still appreciates that the anti-doping system truly makes a big contribution to keep the sport clean.”
While Gharavi will not comment directly on the positive test, he does expect more details to emerge shortly about what exactly happened.
“By nature, we have to expect two sides of the story,” Gharavi said. “One is and will be strongly dictated by the media. Understandably, this will create doubts about the performance and take away the credibility of the great results of a very hard and disciplined season. The second story, is the truth, which luckily seems to be absolutely clear. For her, this second side is more important and it will allow her look up front and work on a recovery from the stories created by the media.”