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Russia’s titled swimmer Efimova purged from Olympic team — federation’s head

July 25, 17:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Besides Efimova three other Russian swimmers were also removed from the national 2016 Olympics roster, the president of the Russian Swimming Federation said
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Yulia Efimova

Yulia Efimova

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Olympic medalist in swimming Yulia Efimova has not been included in the entry list of the Russian national team for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, due to kick off next month in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, the top Russian swimming sports official told TASS on Monday.

Vladimir Salnikov, the president of the Russian Swimming Federation, said that besides Efimova three other Russian swimmers were also removed from the national 2016 Olympics roster - namely Anastasias Krapivina, Natalia Lovtsova and Mikhail Dovgalyuk.

"Efimova, Krapivina, Lovtsova and Dovgalyuk are not on the list," Salnikov said in an interview with TASS. "They all have the right to file appeals with the CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport]. The absence of the swimmers at the issue is a very unpleasant surprise for our federation."

Efimova, who is Russia’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in swimming, the four-time world champion and many times winner of European tournaments, announced in March that her doping sample taken in February had showed the presence of banned substance meldonium. The swimmer was suspended immediately from all international tournaments.

In mid-May the Doping Panel of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) ruled to lift a temporary suspension of Yefimova.

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.

WADA announced in mid-April 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.

The WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released a report on July 18 on the results of its probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

According to the details, the commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.

Following a conference call by its Executive Board on July 24, the IOC urged international federations for winter sports events to suspend preparations for major competitions in Russia. The motion will be in effect until December 31, 2016 and may be reviewed at a December session of the IOC Executive Board.

IOC President Thomas Bach, however, announced on Sunday that Russian athletes, with the exception of field and track competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.

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