Russian breaststroker Vitalina Simonova has had her initial four-year doping ban from 2015 reduced to just two years. On June 29th of 2015, the WADA conducted an out-of-competition doping test on the swimmer, and a positive test showed evidence of the banned substance Testosterone. FINA decided on a four-year ban for Simonova, which was initially supposed to have lasted until June 29th, 2019. You can read more on FINA’s decision here.
In a story that broke today on rsport.ru, it was announced that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has halved Simonova’s suspension from four years to two. CAS has yet to publish a media release on this specific case update. She allegedly appealed to the CAS, arguing that she was not at fault for the presence of any banned substance in her body. Supposedly, at a training camp in Greece in June of 2015, Simonova wanted to purchase supplements at a store. According to another RSport article, she was advised to take the drug Testosterol in that store and ended up doing so, but claimed that the packaging description on the drug did not warn her of any potential prohibited substances in the drug.
Thus, Simonova will have her ban lifted on June 28, 2017, two years early. According to today’s RSport article, Simonova’s lawyer announced (in Russian, via a rough Google Chrome translation) that “any progress Vitalina results (including the titles of World Champion, her records, etc.) are not affected and remain for Vitalina. Thus, Vitalina will become a full participant in any competition is already June 28, 2017! Tremble, competitors!” With her initial ban, she was forced to forfeit several 2014 World Cup medals. Interpreting her lawyers’ remarks, it would seem as though her medals will be returned to her and her swimming results from before the ban will be legitimate once again.