FINA Lifts Suspension on Yulia Efimova, Will Still Pursue to CAS

According to Russian state-owned news agency TASS, FINA has lifted the temporary suspension against Yulia Efimova. This does not mean, however, that Efimova has been cleared to swim at the 2016 Olympics. Instead, the case will bypass the FINA Doping Panel and go straight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Efimova was banned earlier this year after testing positive for the newly-banned substance Meldonium. This was Efimova’s second time testing positive for a banned substance, meaning that she faces a lifetime ban.

Following their protocol, FINA issued a temporary suspension upon Efimova that, aside from preventing her from competing, also did not allow her to train in any formal setting with a coach that was under the FINA umbrella.

Russian Federation president Vladimir Salnikov, himself a four-time Olympic champion, told the CAS that “Her case is not on the agenda of the [May 30 FINA Doping] Panel’s session as it went directly to CAS….They have agreed to put all materials in one file and debate the case there [in Lausanne].”

FINA had previously rejected Efimova’s request to lift the temporary suspension, which kept her from competing at this week’s European Championships. Efimova’s coach claimed that she tested positive for a small amount of meldonium, under the threshold set by WADA for an amount that could have been left in an athlete’s blood early in 2016 even if they stopped taking the substance when the ban was announced.

The Russian 24-year old is a World Record holder and four-time World Champion and won the bronze medal in the 200 breaststroke at the 2012 Olympic Games. After finishing her first suspension, Efimova raced a the home World Championships in 2015 to a victory in the 100 breaststroke.

Editor’s Note: The TASS originally reported that Efimova’s hearing at the CAS would be May 30th. They have changed their reporting to indicate it is “to be determined.”

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5 years ago

FINA is a joke..

Alec Scott
5 years ago

What a great message to send to the athletes.
Basically incentivizing doping.
The worst that can happen is you appeal and get reinstated or serve a short suspension.
I wish this was the only example.

Reply to  Alec Scott
5 years ago

It’s ridiculous. Hopefully The Russian Swimming Federation is banned by the International Olympic Committee. Doping can’t be tolerated and a country that has a rich full history of athletes doping it’s about time they get what’s coming to them.

Reply to  BackstrokerLCM
5 years ago

Doubt it. All these national swimming federations put money into FINA. Russia is a big country with a fair few swimmers and a fair few medals. I wouldn’t be surprised if it puts in quite a lot. FINA is not going to get rid of one of its biggest donors.

5 years ago

Its fine they are trying to resolve the case quickly one way or the other. It may actually indicate FINA was going to rule against her and they told her to skip the FINA hearing and fast track it to CAS. As long as she stays in Russia to train I dont care but if Salo takes her back I am upset.

bobo gigi
Reply to  TAA
5 years ago

Haha! You will not be disappointed! 😆

According to another swimming website, her agent said that Efimova flew back to USA on Tuesday and started to train “for the olympic games” on Wednesday back at Trojan Swim Club. While being suspended she was unable to train in USA where rules prevent coaches working with any athlete during a suspension period. According to her agent, Dave Salo has allowed the swimmer to be back into the program.

Looks like he has not wasted time to welcome her again.
If that’s right, SHAME ON YOU MR SALO!

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

oh no….weekend ruined but patrinieri swim makes me feel better..i am part italian

Reply to  TAA
5 years ago

Hopefully he can beat the cheater’s record in Rio!

Reply to  TAA
5 years ago

And you are so sure Paltrinieri is clean?

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

All – Despite what was reported elsewhere, we reached out to Coach Salo and he said that Efimova is not training with Trojan Swim Club. We’ll report more if we can find out more specifics about her training location.

Jens Jakobsen
5 years ago

Oh no……

5 years ago

Comrade Salo don’t forget to pass out the “skittles” before practice.

Joel Lin
5 years ago

That she moved back to LA to train at USC projects confidence all will pass over Mag 30th. Get all your anger and indignation out now. It’s going to happen.

5 years ago

YUP..Thats can get caught, get caught again and still swim. What a poor message and just encourages athletes to juice as there is rarely a big penalty. FINA should have lifetime bans for 1st and any offense and then just maybe there is a chance to clean up all sports

5 years ago

Only the big stars get to dope with impunity. For Park and Efimova, steroids are no problem, but if you are a small-time athlete from a minor federation who gets caught smoking a little weed, they will make an example of you…just to prove they are doing their job.

Bill V.
5 years ago

Yulia Masculinova.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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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