Yuliya Efimova Cleared to Compete at Rio Olympics

FINA World Championships Yuliya Efimova
Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

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Yuliya Efimova will compete at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, the Russian News Agency TASS reported Tuesday.

Sergei Kolmogorov, the head coach of the Russian Olympic team, confirmed to TASS that FINA approved Efimova for the Olympic Games almost two months after lifting her provisional suspension for testing positive for meldonium on May 22.

Efimova had been included on Russia’s Olympic team roster pending FINA’s decision.

“Yulia will join the national team in Brazil on August 1. For the moment, she is training according to an individual plan,” Kolmogorov told TASS. “FINA’s decision was awaited and is not surprising. We expected that and it happened.”

Efimova has not been the only top Russian athlete to test positive in recent months for meldonium, which was added to the list of banned substances on January 1, 2016. Tennis star Maria Sharapova tested positive for the same drug at the Australian Open in January and is currently appealing a two-year suspension.

However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has allowed for a grace period (running through Sept. 30) for meldonium to clear out of athletes’ systems, provided they ingested the drug prior to January 1. That did not apply to Sharapova, who admitted taking meldonium at a later date.

Russia has come under fire in recent months for allegations of doping violations across all sports. In May, the New York Times published a detailed report on how Russian athletes skirted anti-doping procedures at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, and in June, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) banned track and field athletes from competing under the Russian flag in Rio.

Efimova will now enter the Olympics as the reigning World Champion in the 100 breast and also a medal contender in the 200 breast. She ranks second in the world this year in both distances with a 1:05.70 in the 100 and 2:21.41 in the 200.

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Just Say No
5 years ago

Swimming is getting to be like Track & Field with all these druggies allowed to compete.

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Shame on FINA!

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Simona De Lullo
5 years ago

Fuxxing unbelievable

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5 years ago

Shame…now, let’s wait for sharapova to be cleared

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Katy Sherwin
5 years ago

Wrong, so wrong

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5 years ago

Ridiculous.

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Alexandra Froissart
5 years ago

Noémi Girardet

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5 years ago

Blague

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Alexandra Froissart
5 years ago

vraiment

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Asia Szczepanik
5 years ago

WTF?

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Hugh Ochsenschlager
5 years ago

I’m guessing the bribe/payment was requested in cash so it can not be traced.