Defending Olympic Champion Ruta Meilutyte Calls Out FINA on Doping

2012 Olympic Champion in the 100 meter breaststroke Ruta Meilutyte called out FINA on her Twitter account on Thursday over their decision to not suspend Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova.

“Congratulations @fina1908 you’ve just lost the faith of thousands of swimmers and supporters,” Meilutyte said in the Tweet. She replied to her own Tweet with a “*clean swimmers” to clarify her barb.

While Meilutyte’s Tweet doesn’t specifically reference Efimova, the implication is clear.

In 2012, Meilutyte, who represents Lithuania but has trained in Great Britain for most of her elite career, won the Olympic gold medal in the 100 breaststroke. Efimova placed 7th in that race.

This season, Efimova ranks 2nd behind Meilutyte in the 100 breaststroke, but she hasn’t raced since early March after being placed under a temporary suspension for a positive test for the recently-banned substance Meldonium.

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FINA lifted the temporary suspension, however, and this week the FINA Doping Control Panel decided not to issue Efimova any suspension, and the Russians affirmed her spot on their 2016 Olympic Team. The positive test was Efimova’s second since the 2012 Olympics; the first, for a different substance in 2013, resulted in a 16-month suspension.

Efimova won the World Championship in the 100 breaststroke last season, while Meilutyte took silver seven-tenths of a second behind.

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Purple Rain 99
5 years ago

I am confident that Ruta will be great in Rio. I feel for her since they basically rewrote the rule book in favor of her cheating competitor

5 years ago

Ruta-Ownage <3
Her and USA for Top 3.

Joel Lin
5 years ago

I’ll be rooting for the Americans of course, but I will root just as much for Ruta. It would be special if she can repeat and vanquish the sport a bit. That podium moment would be timeless.

King in da norf
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 years ago

I’m conflicted.
I don’t want Efimova to win any medal, but at the same time, I want her to win bronze, losing to Ruta and Lilly. Imagine the delicious moment when Ruta and Lilly give her the cold shoulder and death stare at the podium!

Reply to  King in da norf
5 years ago

There is something satisfying about that, but I would rather see the joy of someone like Alia Atkinson making the podium. Her reaction when she won short course gold was awesome.

5 years ago

Even if Efimova finals and doesn’t get a medal, she’s still taking away the 9th place swimmer’s chance to race in an Olympic final. If she doesn’t make the final, she’s still harming the 17th place finisher. If she doesn’t make the semifinal, she’s still taking away a swimmer’s opporunity of being in a circle seeded heat. Her presence will rob so many people of once in a lifetime experiences. I definitely won’t be silent if Atkinson gets 4th and can’t be the first female black swimmer to get an Olympic medal because of that monster.

Reply to  Peter
5 years ago
Reply to  Lbswim
5 years ago

See also: Lia Neal (bronze in 4×100 FR in 2012) and Maritza Correia (silver in 4×100 FR in 2004)

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  beachmouse
5 years ago

Lia Neal is asian.

Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Her dad is black and her mother is Asian, so she’s both

Reply to  Peter
5 years ago

This is great!

Steve Nolan
5 years ago

I’m more embarrassed that FINA doesn’t even have their own name as a twitter handle. That’s how ya know they’re in over their heads.

Years of Plain Suck
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 years ago

Good observation. FINA deserves one of one your hand wank GIFs (but the sysadmin would prolly yank it).

Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 years ago

Best Comment Ever.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 years ago

I’d not be very surprised if those aging coots Julio and Cornel have never heard of Twitter.

(I’m well over 60 myself, so I feel qualified to say this.)

5 years ago

Ruta will win, the 100 breast, it will be a tight race between her King and unfortunately efimova

David Berkoff
5 years ago

Good for her. We need more athletes to speak out and help clean up the sport.

5 years ago

Same, Ruta, same..

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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