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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7 years ago

This gives me hope that the sport is finally being cleaned up Bravo WADA and IOC.

7 years ago

This is where the cross over in positions held between iOC WADA & CAS needs re examining . So many have had/have positions across the 3 that would not acceptable elsewhere (though it does exist) . For instance it is akin to a high profile attorney being the lawmaker , (IOC) the prosecution forensics (wada) & the court of appeal.

I’m not going with or against any of them but they cannot be independent sharing the same people .Its like politicians who just will not go away .They end up as heads of NGOs esp in the guise of charities or Lobbysists.

This is why I think international Olympic style sports are finito in their current expression. If we have… Read more »

7 years ago

Well, looks like Efimova will go to Rio…
Dmitry Volkov (80s-90s Russian Olympian):
“The right to decide on participation in the Olympics is given to the international federations. So, FINA is our partner in many projects and its leaders – our good comrades.
Their opinions about what is happening, is well known. We shouldn’t doubt in their loyalty. Their opinion is as follows: Yuliya Efimova will have to take part in the Olympics. I have confidence in this, “- said Volkov.

7 years ago

Once a cheat you cannot be trusted to be clean

Know It All
7 years ago

Vlad Morozov….? I don’t think he’s doped, but that’s unfortunate if he can’t compete.

7 years ago

And this also reinforces the Maria Sharapova ban.

Just Wander
7 years ago

So is Tarasevich (Louisville) out?

7 years ago

I heard Today ( not sure if that decision will be held before the Opening Ceremony ) that the Whole Olympic Russian team overall will be allowed to compete in Rio . is that true or not ? anybody has any further infos on that decision ?

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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