Yuliya Efimova Calls Out Michael Phelps For Smoking Weed

In a continuation of the controversy surrounding doping at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Russia’s Yuliya Efimova has called out Team USA’s Michael Phelps. When asked about Lilly King‘s comments in the lead up to a heated 100 breast final, Efimova responded, “Then what would she say about Michael Phelps?”

A spokesperson for Efimova has explained that she was referring to Phelps’ past suspensions for substance related issues. In 2009, Phelps was suspended for 3 months after a photo of him smoking weed from a bong circulated throughout the media. In 2014, Phelps was suspended for six months and removed from the 2015 U.S. World Championship Team after being arrested for his 2nd DUI. His first DUI came in 2004 when he was 19 years old.

Marijuana is a banned substance, and alcohol is a banned substance in-competition. The first ever disqualification for doping at an Olympics was for alcohol. At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Lilijenwall caused the disqulification of the Swedish team after failing a doping test because he reportedly drank two beers to calm his nerves before the pistol shooting event. The Swedes had initially won bronze, but were forced to return their medals.

While the substances are banned in-competition, all 3 of Phelps’ offenses occurred out of competition.

This echoes the rhetoric we’ve been seeing, as people bring up Phelps and Marijuana, and Australians and Stilnox, to defend Efimova and China’s Sun Yang when they’ve been called out by other athletes in Rio for their past doping violations.

While Efimova has raised questions this year after having a positive doping test for the 2nd time in her career, she’s asserted that she does not support doping, and has never taken a banned substance on purpose.

“There must always be another chance. When you drive a car and break a rule, you just get a ticket. You don’t lose your license for life or get put in jail.”

In Rio, Efimova has faced boos from the crowd and intense emotions as a result of the controversy, and has discussed the impact it has had on her at the Games. Efimova took silver in both breaststroke races in Rio, placing 2nd behind USA’s Lilly King in the 100, and 2nd behind Japan’s Rie Kaneto in the 200.

“There are a lot of emotions. I was standing on the podium and of course I wanted the gold like any ordinary athlete, especially at the Olympics. I was so close. But I was very happy about today’s medal, like the previous medal, because looking back at this time and what was happening to me, it’s a big accomplishment and I’m happy with myself in this situation.”

Efimova will complete her Olympic schedule as part of Russia’s 4×100 medley relay, where she’ll be swimming the breaststroke leg for the team this morning. Also on the relay are Anastasiia Fesikova (back), Svetlana Chimrova (fly), and Veronika Popova (free).

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Michael didnt smoke weed so that he would have an advantage over his competitors, theres a huge difference between cheating and just being dumb and smoking


smoking doest makes someone dumb – Sorry dude ! u dont know what u are talking about and obviously never tried yourself . Your comment is as poor & Ignorant as the one from Yulia .


So after winning 8 gold medals in a row and being a role model for many and was the most decorated olympian at a single games. He is role model for so many children, and then a photo of him smoking a bong surfaces and everyone sees. Im sorry, how is that not dumb? How is allowing someone to photograph you smoking a bong not “dumb”? After all hes accomplished that was “dumb” Sorry but your the dumb one here


uh, or maybe he just wanted to. Maybe weed shouldn’t be a big deal… because it isn’t.




You people downvoting someone rightly correcting “your” to “you’re” are “dumb”. In the extreme.


And also, have you read the side effects and long term causes smoking weed causes? lol,


Oh yeah all that cancer fighting and the whole not affecting lung function like cigarretes. To get it legalized in half of the united states with the DEA fighting it at every step of the way is not an easy thing to do and would not be happening without significant clinical studies proving people like you wrong over and over and over. Get with the times grandpa. Stop believing everything your parents told you as a kid.


Yes, I’m sure those government sponsored studies are pretty sinister after all… God knows what would happened if everyone realized that it wasn’t that bad for you. Then how would they keep us in control?

Cynthia mae Curran

Hey, it effects your judgement, the funny thing is those that want to legalized pot almost want to ban Vapors and e-cigs which have a lot less nicotine than regular cigs do. I knew a lot of pot smokers in the 1970’s when I went to high school and they usually had poor judgement on judging distance and so forth but if people want to legalized it its fine with me.


And poor spelling. No first “e” in judgment.

Swimmoms mom

Not sure where you learned to spell but Cynthia was right it’s judgement not whatever you put…


Affects not effects. Judgment can also be spelled as judgement.

Chips and COOKIES

You are incorrect. Ecigs have a higher content of nicotine than regular cigarettes.


I’m pretty sure alcohol do the same but worse you can drink 5 shots and can’t walk home lol

Cynthia mae Curran

Hey, it effects your judgement, the funny thing is those that want to legalized pot almost want to ban Vapors and e-cigs which have a lot less nicotine than regular cigs do. I knew a lot of pot smokers in the 1970’s when I went to high school and they usually had poor judgement on judging distance and so forth but if people want to legalized it its fine with me.


You should actually research who commissions government studies…it’s very eye opening.


Yes. It causes people to write incoherent sentences on Swimswam.


Have you?


He didn’t say it made him dumb. He said he was dumb for doing it, which is accurate seeing how he got his picture taken and got suspended. And btw you misspelled “doesn’t”

SC Swim Fan

Sorry Yuliya, this is what we call a false equivalency. Phelps toking at a party is not the same as the things you took. Marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug. Nice try, though, to deflect the attention from yourself.


The jury’s still out on whether it’s performance enhancing. Increases vasodilation, oxygen availability, reduces anxiety including that related to prior sports-related traumatic outcomes, inhibits neuropathic pain (can work through injuries better). Most systems, like the endogenous cannabanoid system, that are intrinsic to the human body, were put there for a reason — survival and performance enhancement.

You can read an outdated, but still relevant summary here. http://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxyhost.library.tmc.edu/pmc/articles/PMC3717337/


marijuana isn’t allowed in competition, probably for the reasons you mention. But it is allowed out of competition because it has no long-term benefits.


1. You forgot how inhaling smoke is good neither for your lungs nor for staying cancer free.
2. Phelps was getting high at a a party. He has not involved in some elaborate scheme to take advantage of the dubious value of marijuana as a PED.


So him smoking at a party helped him in world next year? Cmon


It’s not clear whether she took the meldonium in violation of the rules. It wasn’t on the banned list until Jan 1 of this year. There was a grace period for testing positive, and it is true that she tested positive after the original grace period expired. BUT, nobody is sure how long this stuff stays in your body, so the grace period was extended until later in the year and Efimova was cleared to compete.

It’s possible that she cheated, but there’s not enough evidence to claim it with certainty.


Agree to the general premise, and this is more of a general reply. It’s different because she took a medication intended to treat heart conditions (from my understanding) that was found to have performance benefits…kind of like EPO. The use of EPO in cycling sets a clear standard for using medications for performance enhancing reasons (strictly my opinion) If she had a heart issue she should have had a TUE. I understand doing everything to gain an advantage. But the interpretation seems to go beyond training methods, equiptment and nutrition and regularly searches for methods beyond those parameters. I personally felt bad that she was singled out, but she is a symbol of a system/NGB that has broken the rules.… Read more »


King uses Coca-Cola as a stimulant before races and was a known bully at Indiana University can’t back an unsportsmanlike woman like her sorry


Weed is not a performance enhancing drug

(A different) Jack

Depends on the kind of performance you’re talking about.



“I used to do drugs. I still do drugs, but I used to, too.”

Rest in peace Mitch

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

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