Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova has been officially added to the start lists for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She will swim the 100 and 200 meter breaststrokes individually, and one would presume on the Russian 400 medley relay as well. This comes after some combination of FINA, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided that Efimova would be eligible to compete in the Olympic Games in spite of an IOC directive that was set to exclude her.
Efimova has twice tested positive for banned substances – once in 2013 (for which she served a 16-month suspension) and once earlier this year for a newly-banned substance meldonium, for which she was found as having “no fault” after the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) couldn’t determine how long the substance might remain in ones body after being outlawed on January 1st. Efimova is not currently suspended for anything, but the IOC ruled that no Russians who had previously been sanctioned for doping would be allowed in the Olympics after WADA accused the entire federation of covering up positive doping tests.
While the situation of who made the decision is still murky, Efimova was cleared to compete in Rio on Friday, and in a much-needed confirmation of the interpretation of that decision, has now been officially entered into the swimming events.
In the 100 breaststroke, Efimova will be the 2nd seed (start lists here) behind American Lilly King. She placed 4th in that event at the Beijing Olympics and 7th in London in 2012, and is also the defending World Champion. This will be Efimova’s first event, with prelims coming on Sunday morning.
In the 200 breaststroke, Efimova will be the 4th seed (start lists here). She is the 2013 World Champion in the 200 breaststroke and won bronze in London for her only career Olympic medal. This event begins Wednesday.
Natalia Lovtcova has also been added to the women’s 50 and 100 free.