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.

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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)…

Reply to  swimmer
5 years ago

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

Reply to  Disappointed
5 years ago

University of Spoiled Cheaters!!!!!

Reply to  Disappointed
5 years ago

why USC? did she go there?

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….

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.

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?

Reply to  Huh?
5 years ago


5 years ago


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 …

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