Efimova Demands Investigation Of Salt Lake City Lab After Fudged Test

Russian breaststroke star Yuliya Efimova, who tested positive for meldonium back in March, has demanded that the laboratory in Salt Lake City be fully investigated after they reported a negative test that was later found to be positive.

Efimova was tested five times between February 15th and March 5th, with four of the five tests coming back positive. The test on February 15th (analyzed in Montreal), and the tests on February 24th, March 3rd, and March 5th (all analyzed in Los Angeles) all came back positive. The other test, taken on March 2nd and analyzed in Salt Lake City, surprisingly came back negative.

Efimova was then handed a temporary suspension and asked for additional information about the Salt Lake City laboratory after their unexpected negative test. Salt Lake City Laboratory Director Dr. Daniel Eichner responded to Efimova confirming that the laboratory ” was indeed carried out screening tests on meldonium 1,582,651. We conducted the necessary positive and negative test provided in this case. The sample is negative on meldonium “.

 The response from Eichner came on April 2nd, and then on the 15th FINA responded after Efimova requested her suspension be lifted (roughly translated from Russian):

“- One of the samples (taken March 2, 2016 and analyzed in the laboratory in Salt Lake City) it was negative and did not contain banned substances after 1 March 2016; – was not given any explanation. Why sample taken March 2, 2016, was negative, but other samples taken before and after March 02 were positive; – in accordance with Rule 3.2.1 the FINA, WADA-accredited laboratory shall analyze samples and all relevant procedures in accordance with the International standard for laboratories and such laboratories are reliable and appropriate means to establish a violation of anti-doping rules; – the fact that the negative doping tests turned out to be among the four positive results, at first glance, indicates the use of a banned substance after January 1, 2016 year; – to clarify WADA light, positive test results after negative tests may indicate that the reception was a banned substance after 1 January 2016 “.

 Thus, the main reason FINA refused to remove the suspension was the presence of the negative doping test amongst the four positive tests. This indicates the use of a banned substance after January 1st, 2016, as a negative test among positive test indicates that the athlete must still be taking the drug at the time of the test.

On May 20th FINA unexpectedly lifted Efimova’s suspension after hearing that WADA had requested a re-analysis of samples from the Salt Lake City lab. On June 3rd WADA accredited the negative test that came out of the Salt Lake lab positive: “revised result of negative doping test and reported that” A “is your sample contains meldonium”. 

So the test that was originally reported negative, coming out of Salt Lake City, was re-analyzed and found to be positive.

If the test taken on March 2nd hadn’t been originally reported negative the situation would have unfolded very differently. Efimova’s suspension would have been removed on April 15th, thus allowing her to compete at the Russian Olympic Trials beginning on April 16th.

Efimova, obviously frustrated with the Salt Lake City lab that reversed their mistake said: “The laboratory in Salt Lake City somehow “correct” result, but it does not help me to turn back time and take part in the Russian Swimming Championships, which started on April 16, 2016 and qualify for the Olympic Games without performing any additional conditions. “

 It has become clear that the Salt Lake City lab did not act in accordance with the International Standard for Laboratories and was unable to provide valid and reliable results of the sample analysis.

Efimova continued: “Such negligence committed by the laboratory in Salt Lake City, not only violated the provisions of ISL 2015, but caused irreparable harm to me, because of a false negative result of the laboratory, my temporary suspension was not lifted in time and I lost the chance to qualify for the Olympic games at the national championship. This means that it is not just a “false-negative”, it should be seen as a “false-positive” when assessing the compliance of the laboratory in Salt Lake City Status ISL 2015 “.

 Efimova formally requested for WADA and the IOC to:

  • immediately suspend the activities of the laboratory in Salt Lake City, in accordance with the provisions of the ISL 2015 ISL June 2016;
  • declare immediately a full-scale investigation into the activities of the laboratory in Salt Lake City for the last time, including, double-check the negative and the positive results of doping tests, and to appoint a truly independent commission, giving it broad powers to determine the level of misconduct laboratory;
  • to publish publicly the findings of the independent commission on completion of the investigation, as a result of this investigation should be considered as a priority in the fight for the purity of the sport, providing all the necessary evidence. “

Efimova then sums up her view of the situation:

“It is obvious that after my story with false-negative sample surfaced, one can not trust any results obtained by the laboratory staff in Salt Lake City, at least, the results of related meldonium. The only way to restore this trust – a public inquiry of the laboratory in Salt Lake City, which can be carried out both by law enforcement and disciplinary bodies, revealing and putting forward the charges of a crime or violation of professional rules, committed in connection with the lack of professionalism and negligence of employees in the laboratory, which are actually jeopardized my performance in Rio 2016.

I would be grateful for the prompt response. “

Efimova was recently included on Russia’s Olympic roster, as her status for Rio remains up in the air.

Read the original report (in Russian) here.




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She took it for years and she took it to get an edge!


Yes, but it was just another supplement for most of that time.


Gotta love that a medicine that is designed to battle against Heart Failure is “just another supplement.”


Heart failure was not the problem facing Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan. They are the same as facing US soldiers in Afghanistan today . Patrolling in harsh terrain with heavy packs , mental & physical endurance & getting shot at/blown up.

That they found it was a good general blood distributor is a bonus .


Oh yeah, I forgot she was a Soviet soldier after all.

yuliya warrior

oh by the way she took it once when she first moved to California and she ddint know it was a drug because she didn’t speak English. And… this time she took it before it was illegal. AND, it was a sample size so it was not that much to differentiate her swimming.

yuliya warrior

she did not take it for years. If you dont understand the story than dont start rumors. She took it once, before it was illegal. the only reason she got in trouble was because it was in her system when it was illegal. It was probably very confusing for her too because the drug she tried is over-the-counter in Europe/asia.


Ugh, I’m so tired of seeing her name..


could you clarify what a positive and negative sample indicate. Does positive result mean meldonium was present?

Yes, positive means there was a banned substance found. Negative means it was clean.


This is all very confusing, but I think the issue is, if she had positive tests, and negative test, and then another positive test, it indicates she took the drug, then didn’t, and then took it again. She’s arguing that she took the drug, but stopped as of January 1, but it was still in her system. If she has a negative test in there, the following positive test likely isn’t from before January 1, but from new use after the last negative test.


Thank you for clarifying!


I had to read it quite a few times to figure it out!


No .It means that should all the tests bepositive ( which in the end they all
were) then she is under the WADA backdown /Retraction of suspensions.

Should they all be under the provisionally allowable levelz ( As stated by her former coach) she is in the clear.

Your hatred is blinding you .I n this line of emotion I could do hate too .Stupid mormons – who could trust a ppl who believe that stuff. See its not a good look.

Irish Ringer

You know Joseph Smith was a great athlete…he eluded greedy townspeople trying to steal the famous gold tablets that weighed nearly 50lbs by running through the wilderness and evading attackers almost like a running back, all the while saddled with a slight limp. If you can’t believe in a feat like that what can you believe in? 🙂


yuliya warrior

Exactly. Thank you for understanding the story. That is true and also, when she took the drug it was a sample size, AND… she took it before it was illegal. But it was still in her system so she was guilty.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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