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FINA lifts temporary doping suspension from Russian swimmer Efimova

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne will make a decision in the case of possible doping abuse by Russia’s Olympic medalist in swimming

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. The Doping Panel of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) ruled to lift a temporary suspension of Russia’s Olympic medalist in swimming Yulia Efimova, imposed earlier over suspected doping abuse, Sergey Kolmogorov, the head coach of the Russian national swimming team, told TASS on Friday.

"I can confirm the information that the temporary suspension has been lifted," Kolmogorov said in an interview with TASS. "She is now allowed to practice anywhere in the world, including at the base in Los Angeles."

"I am very glad how this situation ended," he added.

Late last month FINA decided against lifting the temporary suspension of Efimova before her case was considered by the FINA Doping Panel on May 30. The date of her hearings in CAS is yet to be announced.

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.

However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced on April 13 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 drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by 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.

Earlier in the day, Vladimir Salnikov, the president of the Russian Swimming Federation (RSW), told TASS that a decision in the case of possible doping abuse by Efimova will be made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

FINA announced earlier in the month that it would hold hearings into the doping case of the 24-year-old Russian swimmer on May 30, but later decided to send her case directly to the Swiss sports court. The date of her hearings in CAS is yet to be announced.