After her hopes of seeing her ban for having tested positive for a prohibited substance denied earlier this week, Russian IM swimmer Yana Martynova has spoken out on her ordeal, maintaining her innocence.
Martynova failed an out-of-competition test by RUSADA (Russia’s anti-doping agency) on July 15, 2015, and RUSADA served her the 4-year ban starting on July 25, 2015. Martynova appealed the decision with the International Commercial Arbitration Court, but the ruling was upheld at a meeting on June 7 at the Russian Federation’s Chamber of Commerce.
According to 28-year-old Martynova, a native of Kazan, “Russian athletes have no chance to be fairly treated by international anti-doping agencies.” The 2007 World Championships silver medalist says that RUSADA did not consider any of her arguments posed in an effort to reduce her ban or fully exonerate her.
“My achievements is a hard physical and psychological labor. It is a labor of my team. I don’t agree with the decision of RUSADA. I suppose it is unfair. I proved my absolute innocence and presented all exhaustive testimonies of that my previous test, other tests after when I was tested positive prove that I did not even take a single dose.”
She made the comments at a press conference in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport of Tatarstan.
Members of the press asked loaded questions of the athlete in light of the recent doping scandals rocking all of Russian sport. For example, one journalist noted the commonality of Martynova and fellow recently-tested-positive for meldonium Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova both having trained under American Coach Dave Salo.
“Is it possible the problem has nothing to do with Russia?” asked the journalist.
Martynova’s response, “First of all, I have not been training in the USA for 2,5 years. When we came there, he [Dave Salo] always told us we just needed to work hard, train, eat healthy food. Even when we were ill, he told us to eat orange and rest.”
With the ban upheld, this means that Martynova will continue to be ineligible until her ban is over on July 26, 2019. As such, she confirmed to the press that she is indeed targeting her 4th Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.