Russian World Champion Yuliya Efimova Signs With Speedo

Yuliya Efimova
Photo Courtesy: David Farr

By Maria Dobysheva

Yuliya Efimova , who won her fourth career individual gold medal at the Kazan World Championships this August, announced her brand-new deal with Speedo at a press conference in Moscow.

Ten-time Worlds medalist Efimova becomes the second Russian swim team member (after Paralympian Olessya Vladykina) to sign with the swimwear company that also sponsors many elite athletes around the world, such as Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Florent Manaudou, Mireia Belmonte and many others.

Efimova’s new contract runs through December 2016 and allows Efimova to officially swim in Speedo suits in the Rio Olympics. In the past, Efimova has had an argument with Russian Swimming about swimsuits that she’s allowed to wear while representing Russia at international meets. The Russian federation has a major contract with Arena, which obliges national team members to perform in Arena suits. At the 2013 Worlds in Barcelona, Efimova violated the federation’s direction and wore a Speedo suit.

“Before the race I had to cover the Speedo caption on the suit, it was ridiculous,” said Efimova of the decision she had to make in 2013. In Kazan, she openly swam in Speedo while wearing Arena jackets. Vladimir Salnikov, president of Russian swimming, said: “It caused us some penalty by Arena but we dealt with it.”

Russian Speedo representative Sergey Vorobyov said that they managed to escape confrontation with Russian Swimming due to rules stating that the Olympic Games are free from contract bonds and let a swimmer use any swim suit they want. As for remaining international meets such as the European short course championships in December and the long course European championships in May, Efimova is going to skip them and focus on her Olympic training with her coach Dave Salo in the United States.

“I definitely will be at the Russian Olympic Trials in April and might be swimming at some local meets in the U.S.,” Efimova said. “But that’s it.”

Efimova also commented on her principal rival Ruta Meilutyte’s recent elbow injury after falling from a bicycle, saying “”I haven’t heard of that! But I don’t think it will affect her Rio performance. There’s still plenty of time to recover and get in shape. She’ll be fine.

“I guess we’ll have to expect some new names from Asia, especially China and Japan, in Rio. They usually do well at the Olympics.”

Efimova was banned for 16 months and stripped of her world records after testing positive for 7-Keto which is a dietary supplement that produces a steroid through the metabolism of prohomone dehdroepiandrosterone (DHEA).  After her suspension, she won gold in the 100 breast at the World Championships in Russia.

Learn More about Yuliya Efimova  

Press Conference Video (in Russian), courtesy Pavel Lysenkov

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Bill v.
Bill v.
8 years ago

Sounds to me like Speedo is endorsing PED use.

8 years ago

Cheaters seem to prosper. Bad. I would be very unhappy if I was a clean swimmer under contract with Speedo. I wonder if any will have the guts to speak up. How any coach or company could align themselves with her I do not understand. Shame on Speedo. Maybe its Greedo

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