Yuliya Efimova, of Russia, has been thrown a lifeline to a home World Championships and the defence of two world titles in Kazan next year by a 16-month suspension in the wake of a positive doping test for a steroid.
The ruling, which coincides with the start of the Russian Championships in Moscow, includes acceptance that the banned substance was indeed in the 22-year-old’s body and that she took it. The conclusion notes, however, that she did not intend to cheat and that language issues were at play: she failed to read a product label and that had been “negligent”.
The decision comes with the cancellation of all results since the late October finding. European s/c gold medals now go to Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) for the 50m breaststroke (making it a double celebration, the England-based swimmer having won the 100m), and Rikke Pedersen, who celebrates what is now a home-championship win in the 200m at Herning in Denmark last December.
The Russian’s world record in the 200, of 2:14.39, is also removed, the standard reverting to another Salo charge, American Rebecca Soni, now retired, who clocked 2:14.57 in shiny suit at the Duel in the Pool in Manchester back in 2009.
Read the full FINA Doping Panel decision here on fina.org