FINA Denies Efimova’s Request For Provisional Suspension To Be Lifted

In the ongoing case surrounding Russian World Champion breaststroker Yulia Efimova‘s positive test for meldonium, FINA has issued a response denying the swimmer’s plea for her temporary suspension to be lifted.

As we reported earlier this week, Efimova’s agent, Andrei Mitkov, stated that Efimova had sent a letter to FINA asking for her current temporary suspension to be removed so that she may compete at Russia’s Olympic Trials in Moscow, which begin on April 16th.

This request was submitted after WADA issued a softer position on meldonium-positive athletes, saying  that there may be grounds for no fault or negligence on the part of the athlete. Cases where the concentration is below 1 mcg and the test was taken before 1 March 2016 are compatible with an intake prior to January 2016.”

As to Efimova’s specific concentration, the Russian Swimming Federation is waiting on data from FINA. Russian Swimming Federation head, Vladimir Salnikov, said. “As of now, we have no official information provided to us in a written form. As soon as we receive official documents from FINA we will certainly make a statement on the issue.”

In FINA’s statement, it reads that the “FINA Doping Panel decided to maintain the provisional suspension of this athlete [Yulia Efimova] until a hearing of Ms. Efimova is held by the FINA Doping Panel.”

However, the Russian Swimming Federation just announced that it has made an exception for filling the second qualifying spot on its Olympic roster, allowing athletes to qualify at a meet other than the Russian Olympic Trials. With Efimova’s suspension being upheld, this revision may enable her to represent Russia in Rio, should she be allowed. You can read more about that announcement here.

With the recent rule change, Efimova could still make the Olympic team if: 1) the Doping Panel overturns her suspension, and 2) her best time from January 1st to April 1st of this year is faster than the 2nd place finisher at the Russian Trials this week.

Efimova currently has the fastest time in the world in the 100 breast at 1:05.70, from the Orland Pro Series swim in March.

2015-2016 LCM Women 100 BREAST

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The 2:21.41 she swam in the 200 breast at the same meet currently ranks 2nd in the world.

2015-2016 LCM Women 200 BREAST

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No other Russian woman currently ranks in the top 25 in either event, so it would very surprising if anyone is able to surpass her times at Trials this week, meaning that should Efimova be reinstated by FINA, she would be able to swim in Rio.

The entire statement from FINA can be seen below.

Considering the provisional suspension imposed by FINA to swimmer Yulia Efimova (RUS) and the recent WADA recommendations on the use of Meldonium, the FINA Doping Panel decided to maintain the provisional suspension of this athlete, until a hearing of Ms Efimova is held by the FINA Doping Panel.

FINA will not make any further comments on this case, until a final decision is made by the FINA Doping Panel.

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5 years ago

All this hype. I kinda want to see her swim clean in rio. No?

Reply to  Zadd
5 years ago


BayArea Swim
Reply to  Zadd
5 years ago

How are you going to make her clean?

Irish Ringer
5 years ago

I certainly think her 1:05.7 will hold at the Russian trials. I just wonder how hard she’s training with all this going on. Does she stick to the plan as if nothing happened?

I’m not making excuses for her, but what’s with Europe and Russia’s widespread use of Meldonium? Just today another announcement of a UFC fighter that got popped for it and wil be out of this weekends event.

5 years ago

I am all for giving people second chance if they are truly sorry for the first mistake and work hard not to make the same mistake. But I have zero sympathy for athlete who got caught for doping (regardless how it happened) and still knowingly use PED.

Of anyone, Miss Efimova should be the one checking the ban substance list more often (than someone not doping or never got caught) and be aware that meldonium will be added to the banned list starting 1/1/2016 in October 2015. That gave her over 2 months to stop using the drug for performance enhancing purpose. But she was so determine to use the drug until last minute (and there was nothing to… Read more »

FINA Bites
5 years ago

Whoa, FINA did the right thing? Will I have to change my handle?? Let’s see what the final verdict of the FINA Doping Panel is first….

5 years ago

Good. This is her second. She should be banned permanently.

You just know, though, that she and any other banned athletes will be sitting at home feeling sorry for themselves rather than being truthful (even to themselves) that it was their fault for doping in the first place. What a shame our beloved sport has come to this.

5 years ago

She has to stay at home ! Period

ct swim fan
5 years ago

There is no reason for a healthy athlete to be using this drug other than as a PED. Case closed.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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