Earlier today, the ongoing controversy surrounding doping, specifically the drug meldonium, got even more complicated as the WADA announced that it might actually excuse some athletes who have already tested positive for the drug. This news comes after the WADA stated that meldonium would go into effect as a banned substance on January 1, 2016.
According to a Russian news outlet, Yulia Efimova‘s agent Andrei Mitkov has made a statement on this recent announcement from the WADA regarding a possible excusal for the athletes who have tested positive for meldonium recently.
According to Mitkov, Efimova sent a letter to FINA today asking for her current temporary suspension to be removed so that she may compete at Russia’s Olympic Trials in Moscow, which begin on the 16th of this month.
“[The] WADA statement … gives a chance to justify the vast majority of Russian athletes who have received notification of the positive test on meldonium… including Yulia Efimova. All the work, all the decisions [are] ahead,” said Mitkov.
According to Mitkov, Efimova has tested positive for meldonium on four different accounts, two of them before March 1st and two after. From our earlier article about the announcement: “WADA states that in the particular circumstances where the [meldonium] concentration found is below 1mcg and the test was taken prior to March 1, 2016, the case may be deemed ‘compatible with intake prior to January 2016’, and would render no fault or negligence on the part of the athlete.”
It seems as though the two tests taken before March 1st, had they registered less than 1mcg of meldonium, might not be conclusive enough to find Efimova guilty of using a banned substance. However, her agent clearly states that two positive test results occurred AFTER March 1st.
Also from our earlier article: “WADA also confirmed that athletes with a concentration of between one and 15 mcg before March 1, or those below one mcg after March 1, could have their cases stayed.” Again, athletes with a concentration below one mcg could still have their cases stayed. Basically, since Efimova tested positive for meldonium not once but TWICE after March 1st, it would seem that regardless of the concentration of the drug in those tests, she shouldn’t have her case excused.