Efimova admits meldonium use, when it was not illegal

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Russia’s titled swimmer, four-time world champion Yuliya Yefimova has admitted that she has tested positive for meldonium (sold under the brand name Mildronate) that was banned starting January 1, 2016. However, she used this medication for medical reasons, the athlete said on Monday on the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

“The blood samples taken from me in Los Angeles in February tested positive for meldonium,” she said.

According to her, she used mildronate last time when it was legal and allowed. “I took it for medical reasons after carefully studying the direction. Experts are currently trying to find out how meldonium traces could be found in the samples taken months after I completed the course,” she said.

In Yefimova’s words, she did not receive notifications on meldonium ban from January 1 and will insist all accusations in doping use are lifted off her.

“I have not received any notifications that meldonium will be included in the list of banned substances from 1 January 2016. Not even one. Neither from Russian nor from international organizations. Neither in the electronic form nor verbally,” Efimova told Rossiya 24 TV channel on Monday.

“I categorically reject accusations of doping use. We are currently preparing for hearings of my case. We intend to insist on all accusations to be lifted and prove that I did not violate anti-doping rules,” Efimova added.

The athlete noted that she continues training in hopes that she will be able to take part in 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

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