The former coach of Yulia Efimova, the Russian World Champion whose reportedly positive meldonium test hit mainstream news yesterday, has offered up her comments regarding the precarious situation.
Coach Irina Vyatchanina, who now carries World Junior Champion Viktoria Gunes (Turkey) under her tutelage, coached Efimova until 2011 when the breaststroking star decided to move to the U.S. and train under current coach Dave Salo of Trojan Swim Club/University of Southern California.
Vyatchanina told Russian news outlet TASS that “only doctors can be blamed for the situation with Yulia. They [doctors] were aware of the problem since last September. They should have done everything possible to get the drug out of the swimmer’s body system.”
Specific to Efimova’s situation, Vyatchanina continued, “I just cannot imagine how they could allow an athlete of such high level and significance as Yulia Yefimova to be caught with such trifle as meldonium. This is the substance, which the whole world has been warning against since last autumn.” (TASS)
As anticipated in October of 2015, heart attack drug meldonium was added to the WADA prohibited list effective January 1. The substance can reportedly be utilized as a metabolic enhancer which increases endurance. WADA began monitoring Meldonium in 2015, adding the drug to its “Monitoring Program” to determine how widespread its use was within sport and what effects it could have on athletic performance. WADA’s findings concluded that there is ‘evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.’
“An investigation is necessary,” stated Vyatchanina. “How could specialists not know about the threat of meldonium? Yulia also has a personal coach, who is her father. He should have kept everything under control.”
“This is his main responsibility since he was not fully involved in the actual training process,” Vyatchanina said. “When I used to coach Yefimova I knew very well about all of her medical programs and drugs she consumed.”
The Russian Swimming Federation acknowledged today that Efimova is under temporary suspension in a connection with a possible anti-doping violation.
In connection with the publication appeared in the media concerning Yulia Efimova, All-Russian Swimming Federation informs that it has received from the International Federation of FINA (FINA) documents confirming the temporary suspension from competitions athletes in connection with a possible anti-doping rule violation.