Russian Yulia Efimova: “Why Start The Cold War Again Using Sport?”

The famous ‘finger wag’ seen around the world set up one of the most anticipated swimming races of the 2016 Olympic Games. American Lilly King had no qualms placing a spotlight on the fact fellow 100m breaststroke competitor, Yulia Efimova from Russia, had previously been banned for doping back in 2013 and also tested positive for meldonium earlier this year.

When all was said and done, however, it was King who reigned in the pool, coming out on top in a gold medal-winning performance of 1:04.93, a new Olympic Record in the women’s 100m breaststroke.

Efimova, who had been relatively quiet to the media leading up to the race, broker her silence post-race, calling the entire ordeal an unnecessary ‘cold war’.

“I understand the people who didn’t congratulate me because the media was full of fake stories about me,” said Efimova, according to state-run Russian media source TASS. “But on the other hand I don’t really understand the foreign competitors. All athletes should be above politics, but they just watch TV and believe everything they read. I always thought the cold war was long in the past. Why start it again, by using sport?”

Nonetheless, Efimova expressed slight satisfaction in her own performance, commenting, “I’m really happy, because what has happened to me is unbelievable. I made a mistake once, and I served the punishment.”

“I don’t even know how I made it to the final,” Efimova continued. “The last few weeks have been very hard, and I can’t remember the last time I had more than four hours of sleep. I wasn’t in my best form. I’m really upset I couldn’t win today.”

On her recent meldonium scandal, where she tested positive, but received reprieve due to WADA’s changing stance on testing grace periods, Efimova stated, “What happened the second time wasn’t my fault. I don’t know if I should explain in front of everyone.”

With the 200m breaststroke race yet to come for Efimova, this heated situation will no doubt retain the sport’s attention for the duration of the 2016 Olympic Games swimming competition.

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She can’t keep claiming, “What happened the second time wasn’t my fault.”

I mean maybe it’s something to do with the Russian government not allowing her to speak publicly about it.

Either way something very fishy is going on and I think WADA and the IOC should start actually enforcing rules. It’s unfair to every other competitor out there that Russia can get away with it.

Drug King

The substance she tested positive for the second time, meldonium, in the middle of February, just 6 weeks after it was banned. The WADA has shown it takes weeks, sometimes months for this substance to leave your body to the point of not being at the threshold for a positive test (1 microgram/ml). It’s not a popular opinion, and there was a system put in place by the Russian government more or less sponsoring the doping program, but this is likely why the waiver was given for the olympics. She served her 16 month ban for her previous offense, and she got beat. She shouldn’t be seen as less than human or some sort of villain because of something she… Read more »


Meldonium and DHEA are on the list for a reason. Pretending they weren’t clearly being used for performance enhancement is disingenuous.

The McLaren report found tests were being tampered with…we have no way of knowing if she has been on anything else. That’s why WADA said “ban them all.”


Girl bye.


Bye Felicia

Steve Schaffer

What Yulia doesn’t seem to grasp is that this is not about politics. It is about positive drug tests and willfully cheating. We don’t care what your politics are, we do object to drug cheats.

We need more clean athletes to take a strong and vocal stand against drug cheats because clearly FINA and the IOC have no real intention of putting a stop to it.


*cough* Hardy *cough*

Pau Hana

Hardy shouldn’t be forgiven either, but at least she only tested positive once. Personally I’d love to see her American record struck out. And I’ve always wondered if one of the reasons Schmitt was given the medley relay anchor in London over Hardy was because of the latter’s suspension.


Schmitt was the relay anchor because she was having the meet of her life.


And, save for the 50 breast at WCs, Hardy tended to be pretty inconsistent at big international meets.


Hardy missed the Olympics due to her positive test, with no time for appeals. They didn’t reinstate her due to lack of time to plead her case, as they did with Efimova. It seems like they’re softer on those who test positive now than they were 4 years ago.


Or 8 years ago, in Hardy’s case.

Yes, Hardy failed a drug test. That doesn’t cancel out the fact that Efimova failed 2 drug tests.


Honestly I don’t believe she willingly cheated

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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