Earlier today FINA announced the specific punishment for Russian star Yulia Efimova who tested positive for a banned substance in October.
She will serve a 16 month suspension, which will go from October 31st, 2013 to February 28th, 2015 and will also be stripped of the following medals:
- gold medal, 2013 Euro SC Championships, 50 breaststroke
- gold medal, 2013 Euro SC Championships, 200 breaststroke
- gold medal, 2013 Euro SC Championships, 200 medley relay (along with Daria Ustinaova, Svetlana Chimrova, and Rozaliya Nastretdinova)
- gold medal, 2013 Euro SC Championships, 200 mixed medley relay (along with Vialy Melnikov, Svetlana Chimrova, and Vlad Morozov)
- silver medal, 2013 Euro SC Championships, 100 breaststroke.
Efimova told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS that should would not appeal the ruling and will focus on training for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan and the 2016 Olympics in Rio,“[Appealing] requires energy, time, and most importantly, money,” Efimova said. “Moreover, I know that I made a mistake. The main thing is to start [working] for the World Championships in Kazan and the Olympic Games.”
Two of her competitors who were greatly effected by Efimova’s use of a banned substance, Rikke Moeller Pedersen and Jennie Johansson, have commented on FINA’s ruling.
Pedersen will receive the medals that are rightfully hers from the European Championships in Herning, but Efimova also kept the Danish star off the top of the medal podium at the World Championships. It has been in Pedersen’s thoughts that Efimova may have gained advantage in that race as well, “Of course I have in mind about Efimova also had the banned substance in the body at that time and thus might cut me a possible huge moment in my career,” Pedersen told fyens.dk.
Pedersen also expressed that she was satisfied with receiving her medals, gold in the 200 breaststroke and women’s 4 x 50 medley relay along with a silver in the 100 breaststroke, but feels she was robbed of a moment she will never be able to get back, “It’s fine. I’m clear about it. I was prepared for it.But it’s something that comes now – on paper.”
“I feel cheated in any case for the great moments on the podium. This is what we live for as swimmers. I would have enjoyed the intoxication standing on top and have gotten gold in Herning.”
She also expressed that she does not like the idea of just being handed the medals, but that should would welcome the challenge of once again competing with Efimova for the hardware.
Johansson of Sweden has been awarded a bronze in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke as well as a silver in the women’s 4 x 50 medley relay also spoke up today.
“It’s great to get two individual medals, then of course it is sad that she was doped,” Johansson told expressen.se
“I have very strongly reject doping and I think that all sports should be equal for all, and it’s not about doping occurs. So it’s extremely sad when it happens.”
Johansson feels the same way Pedersen does about receiving her medals after the fact, , “It is sad not to be able to experience it in place. It’s the feeling you are fighting for and want to experience the championship. Getting the medals were sent home in the mail is not the same thing.”
She also wrote on her blog that by receiving the medals in this manner did not allow her to take advantage of opportunities that come with her achievements, “Then it gets a lot of attention if you take a medal at a championship, and I miss now. It remains in the background.”
“It still shows that I’m top three in Europe, and it motivates me to continue to practice and get better. So I’m glad I’ve been able to increase the number of medals.”