MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. The Russian Swimming Federation (RSF) confirmed that titled swimmer Yulia Yefimova had been temporary suspended from all swimming-related tournament over alleged doping abuse, the RSF said in its statement on Thursday.
A source in the All Russian Swimming Federation told TASS late on Wednesday night that Yefimova tested positive for meldonium, the performance enhancing drug recently banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
"Regarding recent media reports on Yefimova, the RSW is stating that it received from FINA [the International Swimming Federation] documents stipulating a temporary suspension of the athlete from all competitions over the suspected violation of the anti-doping regulations," the statement said.
Russia’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in swimming, the four-time world champion and many times winner of European tournaments had already been once under suspension for doping abuse. In 2014 she was issued a 16-month ban after testing positive for a banned substance (steroid DHEA).
The swimmer, who specializes in breaststroke and was considered as Russia’s best hope for podium place at this year’s Olympics in Brazil, could face a lifetime ban for another violation of anti-doping rules.
Russian sports was hit last week by a new case in a chain of doping-related scandals after some of the country’s athletes tested positive for banned substance meldonium.
The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from January 1, 2016, after which several Russian athletes tested positive for the banned substance.
Those who have proved to have used meldonium since are cyclist Eduard Vorganov, figure skater Yekaterina Bobrova, tennis player Maria Sharapova, skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, short-track skaters Semion Elistratov and Ekaterina Konstantinova, volleyball player Aleksandr Markin and biathlete Eduard Latypov.
The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).