After IOC Ruling, World Champ Efimova Won’t Be Allowed at Olympics

While there is sure to be a long line of appeals and clarifications necessary in interpreting the directive laid out from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as to which athletes are and are not allowed to compete for Russia at the 2016 Olympic Games, one specific class of athletes have been specifically barred from competition:

3. The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.

We have sought clarification as to what the IOC will be considering “no fault” findings in meldonium cases, as is the case with Grigory Tarasevich, which could come down to the semantics both of the IOC ruling and the doping decision. There is no doubt about one athlete and a gold medal contender in swimming, however: Yulia Efimova.

Efimova tested positive for the newly-banned meldonium in March, but that was actually her second positive test. The first, in 2013, was for the banned substance 7-keto-DHEA, and included a 16 month suspension and the stripping of international medals.

After returning, Efimova won a World Championship gold medal in the 100 breaststroke and a bronze medal in the 50 breaststroke in Kazan, Russia last year.

Efimova was temporarily suspended for the meldonium test during the Russian Olympic Trials, but they altered qualification rules to allow her to qualify for the team anyway pending FINA’s decision, which was ultimately to waive any sanction for the meldonium use.

We identified two other swimmers on Russia’s Olympic Team, Daria K Ustinova, who has previously been sanctioned with a warning – when she was 14; and Natalya Lovtcova, who in 2012 was suspended for two-and-a-half years, later reduced to two years.

A recent FINA decision to remove public records of athletes’ doping sanctions after they served their sanctions has increased the challenge of identifying others who have tested positively.

One potential appeal will be on the basis of the international Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) decision to strike down the “Osaka Rule,” where the IOC attempted to go outside of the sanctions allowed in the World Anti-Doping Code to add a one-Olympic suspension to all athletes who were previously sanctioned for 6 months or longer.

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Mac
5 years ago

Gonna have to change my picks… She was basically a lock for at least 1 medal, if not 2.

Unknown
Reply to  Mac
5 years ago

Probably because she’s been on drugs

Iain
5 years ago

Also Natalia Lovtsova I believe?

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Iain
5 years ago

And Daria Ustinova

NotSoFastSwimmer
5 years ago

BYE FELICIA!

(I wished I knew how attach gif)

Blu
5 years ago

then american athletes who were tested positive before should also be banned like Gatlin and the rest

Joe
Reply to  Blu
5 years ago

This is my biggest gripe. I’m fine with not banning every Russian olympic member(thinking everybody dopes is as naive as thinking nobody does), but why not take the opportunity and make a statement about every previous doper in every country that are about to attend the games. But obviously that would take balls and IOC has none of it.

Uberfan
Reply to  Blu
5 years ago

I agree it’s a huge problem in Russia but I’m tired of dopers in sports

Cmon
Reply to  Blu
5 years ago

We don’t have state sponsored cheating here

Whatever
Reply to  Cmon
5 years ago

That is certainly true, however, we have large corporations. Do you think Nike, Under Armor, etc. would be able to sell products with athletes coming in at 8th place in an Olympic final? Here, it is done through agents (Octogon, IMG, DLE, so on…) who make the big bucks with top athletes after signing deals with corporations who need the “best” advertising they can get. I mean who would not buy a pair of sneakers, a pair of swimming googles, or other equipment which are being used by the No.1 athletes in the world?

I am a fan of swimming and I also have done it for a long time at the Olympic level. I always wanted to believe that… Read more »

Hswimmer
5 years ago

Good!!!

StopRussophobia
5 years ago

You people are truly sick in your Russophobic witchhunt. What is your obsession with Efimova. She took a GNC supplement and was punished harshly for it. Then “failed” a test on pre Jan 1st trace amount of the politically banned Meldonium.

You want her out but Gaitlin and Gay in? Thats pure discrimination. Thats two sets of rules and punishing someone solely for their ethnicity.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  StopRussophobia
5 years ago

Andrei Yefimov, you need to put the blame on Putin instead of raging on the internet.

Tom from Chicago
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

We don’t like American dopers like Jessica Hardy either. Luckily, Hardy didn’t get a spot on this team.

emg1986
Reply to  StopRussophobia
5 years ago

Oh no I think you ask anyone here they would want Gay and Gatlin Etc banned as well. In fact no one here stated they didn’t…..

BackstrokerLCM
Reply to  StopRussophobia
5 years ago

Oh personally I think any proven cheat should be banned especially American’s like Gatlin. However This Russian witch hunt you speak of exists due to a number of reasons. 1. Russia probably has had the worst history with PED use in the history of sports (ok you got me East Germany but they were heavily influenced by the USSR) 2. Russia has failed to follow through with any adequate punishment for doping athletes even advocating for a relief of international restrictions. 3. Russia influence on FINA has grown considerably to the point where it’s gotten frustrating for many people. And 4. Russia’s actions today under Putin are very similar to the actions of the USSR apart from the communism making… Read more »

R&R
Reply to  StopRussophobia
5 years ago

Why do you say we want Gatlin and Gay in? I sure don’t… would love to see them banned. Cheaters, of any nation, be gone!

zfibster
Reply to  StopRussophobia
5 years ago

This is a swimming website. Why would we bring Gatlin up? Get a grip.

Torchbearer
Reply to  StopRussophobia
5 years ago

Do you know why Russia is being singled out- not just because it has athletes who have cheated and competed, but because hey took this to a whole new level of state sponsorship.
On top of that, Russia had the honour of hosting an Olympic Games, Swimming and Athletics World Championships and provided a corrupt doping laboratory and regime. No other country has systematically not only doped athletes but also brought so many sports and events into disrepute.
This is after doing this 40 years ago, that went unpunished.

Cmon
Reply to  StopRussophobia
5 years ago

State sponsored cheating. State sponsored cheating. State sponsored cheating. State sponsored cheating. State sponsored cheating. Putin sponsored cheating

Teamwiess
5 years ago

I would hold off on this conclusion. As I mentioned in another post, CAS has held multiple times that post hoc punishment for a suspension that has been served isn’t allowed, Park Tae Hwan is the latest case. I imagine this is immediately taken to CAS and there is at least a possibility it isn’t allowed. Why it was a weak decision.

Ferb
Reply to  Teamwiess
5 years ago

This might be different, because it isn’t a post hoc punishment for certain individual athletes. It is a blanket ban on a federation, with leniency being granted to certain individual athletes.

Ferb
Reply to  Ferb
5 years ago

Don’t get me wrong, though; I still think Efimova will be allowed to swim, and that very few, if any, Russians will actually be prevented from competing at the Olympics.

weirdo
5 years ago

Unfortunately, Efimova can appeal to FINA and FINA will back down (based on their history). Until I see it from FINA that she won’t swim, I expect her to be in Rio. Not fair, but FINA has no backbone!

Kim
Reply to  weirdo
5 years ago

Yes we know how FINA is in bed with Russia. So i will give quit high odds on Efimova being baned by FINA and its corrupt leadership…….Wen does the swiming wolrd figure out to kick the FINA leadership out. When does some of the big sponsers say enough is enough….

I would like to see the sponsors, trainers, swimmers and federations go together and make a new beging for swimming

Kim
Reply to  Kim
5 years ago

Yes. That she will NOT be banned

Kim
Reply to  Kim
5 years ago

Ahhh the changes of Efimova getting on the team just got a bit worse Again. At least oficial. Because ROC head Alexander Zhukov says that ROC will not apeal athlets baned because of former doping ofences.

Russian Olympic Committee head Alexander Zhukov says it will not appeal against an IOC rule to bar Russian athletes who previously served doping bans from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Zhukov, who attended Sunday’s telephone conference of the IOC executive board, says he does not agree with the rule agreed just 12 days before the opening ceremony.

Still, he says “we don’t have time enough to do such a thing” like appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A previous… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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