FINA lifts Russian swimmer Efimova

FINA lifts Russian swimmer Efimova’s doping suspension

Moscow, May 21 (IANS) The doping panel of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has lifted its temporary suspension of Russia’s Olympic medal winner Yulia Efimova.

“I can confirm the information that the temporary suspension has been lifted,” Sergey Kolmogorov, the head coach of the Russian national swimming team here on Friday. “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 FINA’s doping panel on May 30. The date of her hearing in Court of Arbritation for Sports is yet to be announced.

Efimova, who is Russia’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in swimming, the four-time world champion, 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 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).

The drug 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), said 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.

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