Yuliya Andreyevna Yefimova, the Russian competitive swimmer from Taganrog, has had her provisional suspension for doping lifted by the world governing body of swimming.
FINA, the international governing body for aquatic sports, has released a statement in which it disclosed that the temporary suspension of Russian breaststroker has been lifted.
Earlier this year, Efimova was suspended after she tested positive for the newly-banned substance Meldonium. The swimmer was placed under temporary suspension in March until the FINA Doping Panel could hear her case. The world governing body of swimming lifted the temporary suspension while Efimova was awaiting a hearing in front of both the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). FINA remarked Yulia Efimova will still face a decision by the FINA Doping Panel, after which the London Olympics bronze medalist in the 200 meters breaststroke would be entitled to file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
FINA gave reference of a WADA recommendation that there should be leniency given if the level of Meldonium found in the system was below 1 microgram per milliliter for doping controls made in January. This recommendation by WADA was made on the basis that there was not sufficient research to indicate if Meldonium should have been able to completely clear an athlete’s system since the announcement of its banishment. The governing body of swimming said the reason they did not lift the temporary suspension earlier was because of the sequence of testing results of Efimova.
In a statement, FINA said all these developments confirm the extreme complexity and sensitivity related to the inclusion of Meldonium in the list of prohibited substances. It was also emphasized by FINA that they are strictly following their own FINA Doping Control Rules and WADA recommendations to lift the suspension. The statement further reads that FINA would like to underline that the decisions taken on this case have strictly followed the FINA Doping Control Rules as well as specific recommendations from WADA concerning the prohibited substance Meldonium.
According to Efimova's former coach, Efimova, who had been training in the U.S. under Dave Salo prior to her suspension, has not returned to the club. USC and Trojan Swim Club head coach Dave Salo said Yulia is not training with Trojan Swim Club.
Previously, Yulia Efimova was suspended for 16 months from October 31, 2013 through February 28th, 2015 after a positive test for the substance 7-keto-DHEA, which is classed by the World Anti-Doping Code as an Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid. The substance is legal to the general public in the United States and available for legal sale. FINA then remarked Efimova did not intend to use 7-Keto DHEA in order to enhance her sport performance and that she rather believed she was taking a simple, legal, L-carnitine supplement.
The full decision of FINA then disclosed that Efimova tested positive in a urine sample taken on October 31st, 2013, in an out-of-competition doping control conducted by FINA. The swimmer was then stripped of her results from the positive test forward, which includes loss of World Records in the 50 and 200 breaststrokes in short course meters, done on November 10th at a FINA World Cup and December 13th at the European Championships, respectively. She was also stripped of four gold medals and a silver medal from the 2013 European Championships but she managed to keep her two gold medals from the 2013 World Championship.