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FINA unaware of allegedly systematic anti-doping violations by Russian swimmers

March 23, 18:54 UTC+3
The Times reported on Wednesday that, according to daily’s own investigation, Russian swimmers had been in recent systematically consuming banned performance enhancing drugs
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

GENEVA, March 23. /TASS/. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced on Wednesday it had no data on the allegedly systematic violations of anti-doping regulations by Russian swimmers, as it was earlier reported by the UK daily, The Times.

The Times reported on Wednesday that, according to daily’s own investigations, Russian swimmers had been in recent systematically consuming banned performance enhancing drugs.

"FINA is aware of the allegations made in today’s Times, and that further allegations may be made in the coming days," the statement from the international federation said. "We have called on the Times to share with us any information they may have which might assist us in our primary objective of protecting clean athletes in swimming."

"Any new allegations of doping in our sport, which are substantiated by evidence and which have not already been addressed, will be investigated as a matter of utmost urgency, because we have absolutely zero tolerance for the use of performance-enhancing substances in swimming."

"However, it should be noted that while FINA is not aware of any concrete evidence of systemic doping in Russian swimming, we have taken a particularly robust approach to our anti-doping procedures in relation to Russia and Russian competitions, in light of WADA’s recent investigation," according to the statement.

According to The Times, its investigations "uncovered an alarming picture of systematic drug use" in Russian swimming over the past decade.

Two weeks ago Russian sports was hit by a new case in a chain of doping-related scandals after some of the country’s athletes tested positive for banned substance meldonium.

Athletes use meldonium (mildronate) to increase resistance to high strenuous activity and physical strain during training sessions as well as for easing emotional, nervous and psychological stresses at competitions.

The formula is also used for preventive treatment of heart problems predominantly in the Commonwealth of Independent States. WADA blacklisted meldonium as a prohibited drug as of January 1, 2016. The formula refers to S4 class in the WADA list (hormones and metabolism modulators).

Yulia Efimova, who is Russia’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in swimming, the four-time world champion and many times winner of European tournaments, said on Monday her doping sample taken in February had showed the presence of meldonium.

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