Russian Vitalina Simonova’s 4-Year FINA Ban Reduced to 2 Years by CAS

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, 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.

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Wait wut? She gets her medals back? Although her excuse for testing positive is as old as the hills, I’m not in the lifetime-ban-for-doping crowd. Missing the Rio Olympics as well as a two, three or four year ban seems about right. Getting to keep her medals (and presumably prize money) is a slap in the face to her clean competitors. I hope this is just a simple error with google translation.


It will be absolutely UNFAIR for her to keep her medals! That’s the first thing that should have taken away. Also, they need to properly explain why her ban was cut short. Is there still any punishments for doping at this point? If they continue being slack, the practice will only grow which will ruin sports.


The last time I went into as Supplements store I came away with a fat free peanut butter .It was a powder that you mix with water – truly the worst invention ever . The ones in Greece look so much better .

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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