Yulia Efimova Fails Doping Test, Could Face Lifetime Ban Per Russian Media

Russia’s reigning 100 breaststroke world champion Yulia Efimova has reportedly failed a doping test and could face a lifetime ban from the sport, according to Russian media.

Sport-Express.ru reports that Efimova’s failed test became public late on Wednesday night in Russian time. The site’s source says Efimova tested positive for meldonium, the same drug that tripped up tennis star Maria Sharapova earlier this month.

The Russian swimming federation confirmed in a separate story that it was aware Efimova had tested positive for meldonium.

Meldonium is a drug that increases blood flow in patients with ischemia, but it can also increase an athlete’s exercise capacity. It has been monitored by WADA since 2015 and was added to the WADA banned list starting at the beginning of 2016.

Efimova could face a penalty as harsh as a lifetime ban because this wouldn’t be her first doping offense. Efimova tested positive for 7-keto-DHEA back in 2013 and was hit with a 16-month suspension and stripped of two world records and five international medals as a punishment.

At the time, Efimova said she didn’t know the substance was illegal, saying she was told the substance was OK to take by a salesperson at GNC.

Efimova was last summer’s World Champion in the 100 breaststroke and would have contended for the 200 meter title if she hadn’t missed the final with a poor morning swim. She recently put up the world’s fastest 100 breaststroke time for this current season while winning the Arena Pro Swim Series at Orlando just a few weeks ago.

Efimova’s positive test comes after Russia has taken some significant heat for alleged doping scandals within its athletics program. That scandal included allegations that the country was compromising the integrity of its Moscow-based WADA anti-doping lab and breaking rules to keep its athletes eligible despite positive doping tests.

127
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
127 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
swimmer
5 years ago

ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!! If she doesn’t get a lifetime ban after having 2 failed drug tests, I might begin losing faith in this sport (and many others)…

Disappointed
Reply to  swimmer
5 years ago

Don’t lose faith in swimming, lose faith in USC!

TA
Reply to  Disappointed
5 years ago

University of Spoiled Cheaters!!!!!

why
Reply to  Disappointed
5 years ago

why USC? did she go there?

FightOn
Reply to  Disappointed
5 years ago

Yulia doesn’t and never has attended USC…. And getting Dave to endorse a protein shake would be a stretch….

SeanSwimmer
5 years ago

Not a surprise. Not a surprise at all.

The Grand Inquisitor
Reply to  SeanSwimmer
5 years ago

Can’t wait to hear the variation on the usual defense: She didn’t know meldonium was illegal because she was told the substance was OK to take by another salesperson at GNC. Or perhaps it was just another miscommunication due to language proficiency.

Bigger question is why does the nexus of athletes around Salo continue to have such recurring difficulty with this?… Quite a list: Vencill, Mellouli, Hardy, Glaesner, Efimova.

the grand inquisitor's mom
Reply to  The Grand Inquisitor
5 years ago

Glaesner’s is not a real offense. Besides he got his medal back.
Neither Mellouli or Hardy swim at USC anymore.

but yea Salo is a drug dealer for sure.

Huh?
Reply to  the grand inquisitor's mom
5 years ago

Dave Salo is a drug dealer? Do you realize how completely asinine you sound!?! Did you take a Trump pill today?

lol
Reply to  Huh?
5 years ago

#sarcasm

SwimSam
5 years ago

Disgraceful

Tim Wheyster
5 years ago

Yeeeeesss !!!

Fingers crossed the first of many..

Danjohnrob
5 years ago

W-O-W!!! At a time when Russia’s Track and Field Administration is under investigation for allegations of systematic doping, a positive test for one of their premier swimmers does not lend credibility to their Swimming Federation! However, it is probably unfair to jump to the conclusion that other Russian swimming stars are doping if Efimova is convicted of doing so. Still, it certainly throws the Olympic women’s 100/200 breaststroke races wide open! It will be interesting to see who rises onto the podium to take advantage of this opportunity!

samuel huntington
5 years ago

Russia is a disgrace to sports and integrity

Anna
Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

She is training in US with US coach. And bought it at GNC in U.S. not in Russia. Stop blaming Rusdia for everything.

shanmac
Reply to  Anna
5 years ago

Don’t think she bought meldonium at GNC!!

Tim Wheyster
Reply to  Anna
5 years ago

Are you Anna Putin, either way wake up and smell the coffee ?! Dozens of swimmers and other athletes banned, a country with no integrity at World level either in sport or on the political stage.
Behaving how you like, denying everything, and then suggesting that the world is against you. If you want respect you have to behave the way that most of the rest of the civilised World do.

Ervin
5 years ago

Wow. I gave her the benefit of the doubt when the comments would rip into her on this site. This is super disappointing

rjcid
5 years ago

We are seeing athletes get nabbed for things that were JUST outlawed, Listen, this happened to Sharapova.

If you are smart or lucky enough and what you are doing to improve your regimen isn’t illegal – and JUST got announced, I give you some benefit of the doubt. Yes, it’s still considered somewhat gaming the ethics of training, but IMO – this ins’t something I am gonna get up in arms. They rise and fall, whose next?

Many shouldn’t be surprised – the life of a professional swimming is meh – could be better. By winning more you earn more, you can get dope deals that work well. Not everyone is a phelps, lochty, etc. but its now more… Read more »

swimmer
Reply to  rjcid
5 years ago

Sorry, but it’s hard to take this comment seriously when she’s done this in the past. Why must we be quick to defend someone who is dishonest and repeatedly lies? I’ve lost faith in her as an athlete.

rjcid
Reply to  swimmer
5 years ago

Sorry – didn’t remember she got caught before. Yelp! If it was 1st, id be lenient.

Tomr
Reply to  rjcid
5 years ago

Swimmers at this level have coaches, trainers and handlers that should know whats being changed and is no longer allowed. Benefit of the doubt no longer being given to cheaters who either disregard or circumvent the system. Bye bye Yulia!

ct swim fan
Reply to  Tomr
5 years ago

If anyone hasn’t heard the account of why Sharapova got caught, she said she did neglected to read the information that she was sent outlining the ban of meldonium. Wonder what this woman will come up with for an excuse.

Coach X
Reply to  rjcid
5 years ago

If you think that Phelps and the rest of them are clean you have a long way to go.

Jonpausd
Reply to  Coach X
5 years ago

Sorry, did I miss the results that had Phelps testing positive? No, I didn’t (bar marijuana). Phelps is clean, you are probably a jealous coach in the Michigan or Mecklenburg area that wants attention. Stop being a crybaby and coach someone of worth.

KP
Reply to  Jonpausd
5 years ago

AMEN JONPAUSD!!!!!!!!!!!

Coach X
Reply to  Jonpausd
5 years ago

Get your facts straight. Phelps is asthmatic, but having prescription inhaler doesn’t make you clean u r still on steroids just legally. Second, u have no clue how pro sports work. Lance Armstrong doped all the time and never got caught by any test. Keep living in denial.

Innocent Until Guilty
Reply to  Coach X
5 years ago

So Coach X, can you please show us your facts where Phelps is guilty of doping? I would love to see your statistics on that.

If you’re not 100% sure that he is doping, why would you go around throwing out these accusations? “Keep living in denial”? So would you like me to join you in your fantasy world where it has been PROVEN that he is doping? Should I bring a unicorn for you to ride around on?

Just because someone is a great athlete, that does not mean they are doping. Lance Armstrong is an exception to the rule, as are some other notable athletes.

JP
Reply to  Coach X
5 years ago

Coach X, as a swimming coach and asthma sufferer, and father of a competitive swimmer with asthma, I find it deeply offensive that you suggest that the legal use of a steroid just to be able to maintain a lung capacity and peak flow at a level close to normal is cheating.
Perhaps we should remove all considerations for physical, medical, and mental limitation. Let’s just make sport exclusive to the perfect human being.
A legitimate medical condition that many, many swimmers have is no reason to prevent them competing at the top level. What is is the miss use of prescription medication to cheat. Which was exactly what Sharapova and Efimova were doing. Regardless of whether it… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »