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FINA confirms ban on Russian titled swimmer Efimova from 2016 Olympics

July 25, 18:37 UTC+3 GENEVA
The statement from FINA said: "Athletes withdrawn by the ROC: Mikhail Dovgalyuk, Yulia Efimova, Natalia Lovtcova, Anastasia Krapivina (Marathon Swimming)"
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Yulia Efimova

Yulia Efimova

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

GENEVA, July 25. /TASS/. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced on Monday its decision to bar Russia’s titled swimmer Yulia Efimova from taking part in the 2016 Summer Olympics, due to start in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro next month.

"FINA has noted the requirement that the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) shall not enter any athlete having been already sanctioned," FINA said in its statement. "Accordingly, no such athlete will be declared eligible."

The statement from FINA said: "Athletes withdrawn by the ROC: Mikhail Dovgalyuk, Yulia Efimova, Natalia Lovtcova, Anastasia Krapivina (Marathon Swimming)."

The world’s governing body of sports swimming announced that the decision had been made after "The WADA Independent Person ("McLaren") report has shown that anti-doping rules, i.e. the FINA Doping Control (DC) Rules and the WADA Code were not correctly implemented in Russia, i.e. within the jurisdiction of the Russian Swimming 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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