Yuliya Efimova Banned And Stripped Of World Records

Yuliya Efimova of Russia has received a ban of 16 months, retroactive to October 31, 2013 and concluding next year on February 28. The world governing body of swimming, FINA, made this communication in its final decision against the swimmer after her positive test for 7-keto-DHEA during an out-of-competition test that took place in Los Angeles.

FINA also decided to strip Efimova from all results since October 31, 2013 that includes four European short course titles and four world records. With this announcement, the European short course wins now goes to Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte (50-meter breast along with her 100-meter breast win) and Rikke Pedersen Moeller (200-meter breast). Germany finishes with the mixed 200-meter medley relay victory for the team of Christian Diener, Caroline Ruhnau, Steffen Deibler, and Dorothea Brandt while Denmark’s women’s 200-meter medley relay earns gold with Mie Nielsen, Jeanette Ottesen, Pernille Blume, and Pedersen taking home that win with Russia losing the world record in that event.

Efimova will lose four world records in total. Her 200-meter breaststroke record of 2:14.39 will go back to Rebecca Soni’s 2:14.57 from the Duel in the Pool. Russia will also lose the mixed medley relay and women’s medley relay records from Euro short course champs and the 50-meter breaststroke record of Efimova from the FINA World Cup tour will not be ratified.

Efimova plead ignorance during her hearings with the FINA Doping Panel that she had taken similar supplements containing L-carnitine ever since she was a teenager. She remarked that a sales person at a local GNS store in Los Angeles told her that a product named Cellucor CLK was “doping-free.” It was claimed by Efimova that her lack of English skills was behind the poor decision to take the supplement, instead of just not taking any L-carnitine at all, especially since DHEA was clearly listed as an ingredient on the label of the product.

However, Efimova accepted the fact that she would have found that DHEA was prohibited if she had compared the supplement ingredients to the banned list. FINA imposed a relaxed ban on her because the swimmer detailed that her intent never was to find any performance enhancement. Efimova bought the product in September of 2013, went on the World Cup tour to Doha, Dubai and Moscow in October and tested clean at each of these stops. She used the product on October 22 when she returned to the U.S. and had run out of her previous supply of L-carnitine and even detailed that she had been taking L-carnitine on her doping control form.

FINA Doping Panel remarked that it has concluded that a sixteen-month period of eligibility is both just and fair under the circumstances of this case upon balancing all the relevant factors and after considering many other cases across a wide spectrum of sports.

Efimova is likely to bypass an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and expected to focus on the future with the potential of still competing at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan.

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