MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. In case the International Swimming Federation (FINA) provides information on the concentration of banned substance meldonium in the doping tests of Russia’s Yulia Efimova, the imposed suspension in regard to the titled swimmer could be lifted, the head of the Russian Swimming Federation (RSF) said on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that the concentration of less than one microgram of meldonium in the body system of an athlete, whose doping tests were conducted before March 1, was acceptable and the athlete at the issue was not a subject to any sanctions whatsoever.
"The official data from FINA on the concentration of meldonium in Yulia Efimova’s doping sample may help lifting the ban on her participation in the international tournaments," Vladimir Salnikov said. "As of now, we have no official information provided to us in a written form."
"As soon as we receive official documents from FINA we will certainly make a statement on the issue," Salnikov added.
Efimova, who is Russia’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in swimming, the four-time world champion and many times winner of European tournaments, announced last month that her doping sample taken in February had showed the presence of meldonium. The swimmer was suspended from all international tournaments following her positive test for meldonium.
The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from January 1, 2016. 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).
Meldronate is a cardiovascular preparation freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without doctor’s prescription.
According to WADA’s data, a total of some 140 doping samples worldwide tested positive for meldonium, including up to 30 Russian athletes. Among them are tennis star Maria Sharapova, Olympic medalist in swimming Yulia Efimova and Olympic medalist in speed skating Pavel Kulizhnikov.
Russian sports was in the center of doping-related scandals since the fall of 2014. Since early February control over doping abuse in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA only under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).
Last week Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko announced that UKAD was taking up to 200 doping samples from Russian athletes each month.