Yuliya Efimova Wants Salt Lake City Lab Suspended As ‘Negative Test Turns Positive’

Yuliya Efimova and Dr. Homayun Gharavi in warm up at world titles last year - photo by Patrick B. Kraemer
Yuliya Efimova and Dr. Homayun Gharavi in warm up at world titles last year - photo by Patrick B. Kraemer

Yuliya Efimova**, the Russian suspended for doping after a positive test in 2013 and still under investigation by FINA over positive tests for meldonium, has called for the Salt Lake City testing anti-doping laboratory in the United States to be suspended pending a commission of inquiry by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The issue hangs on how a ‘negative’ finding for meldonium could turn end up becoming an adverse finding three months later.

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Comments

Yozhik

As was expected Yulia Efimova attacks Salt Lake City laboratory accusing it with mistakes, rule violations and low quality job when testing her samples of March 2 , 2016.

Craig Lord

We assume it to be her strongest defence, Yozhik. Time will tell.

Yozhik

It is not a defence any more, but the offence. She demanded from WADA and IOC a criminal investigation of Salt Lake City Laboratory.

Craig Lord

Yes, indeed, though the offence is a thin masquerade for the defence 🙂

aswimfan

Craig, do you know which laboratory that tested her negative January sample?

Craig Lord

I don’t ‘know’ but I assume that it would have been SLC as the ‘local’ lab. Have asked the question, among others

John Smith

Has she ever said why she was taking it? Last I heard she said she had taken meldonium for unspecified medical reasons.

Yozhik

It absolutely doesn’t matter why did she take it. She requested retest her samples by different lab. If WADA does it and results differ from those reported by SLC lab then the situation will be of the same level of scandal as it is with Sochi lab.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, it does matter why she and all others took it: simply don’t believe that more than 100 elite athletes were taking this stuff for legitimate medical reasons and that their status as elite athletes and their search of ‘performance’ was somehow uncoupled from the advice they had had to take meldonium. I notice that since January 1, none of them have dropped dead or been rushed to hospital because they weren’t able to take meldonium.
Beyond that, scandal it would be – but not (at least on the basis of one mis-test) on the same scale as Sochi, if Mr Rodchenko is telling it as it was, holes in walls, switched samples the lot.

gheko

Four proved positive for meldonium but not, she claims, one taken on March 2. So the four positives do not count? I think she is clutching at straws looking for a way out!

Yozhik

It doesn’t matter in this case in this particular point if she took this drug in 2015 to help her weak heart or to help her to get unfair advantage over other swimmers. If this case ever needs to consider what kind of person Efimova is then it won’t be necessary to verify her medical records. She has already used banned substances and her “suspended driver licence” sentiment makes nobody mistaken that we are dealing with nonstop cheater who’s criminal mentality has never been changing and never will, no matter what.
But we shouldn’t beat cheaters by cheating on them. I hope that there was no mistake (accidental or intentional) done by SLC lab. Efimova’s recent inclusion to Russian Olympic team means that either WADA/FINA have no intentions to fight that deep and long and the case will be settled. Or she made a valid point. We may never know all details. The decision will be announced without explanations.

Craig Lord

Yes, I think you make valid points, Yozhik

anna prostyakova@yandex.ru

Yes, certainly, the best way for a cheater is to come to train in the USA (where any athlete is tested almost every week), instead of staying in Russia (the country where you can hide in a military town)! Have you ever thought about it? Do you really think Efimova is a cheater? Do you really think she takes doping to win? So why did she come to LA? She is tested here by USADA every week!!! Meldonium is a vitamin for heart! Do you take any vitamins? Will you die without it? She took it when it was allowed, and she stopped taken it as soon as it was banned! it is not for an athlete to argue if it should be banned or not! It it up to the authorities…

Craig Lord

Anna – strict liability is the rule. She fell foul once, she now faces a second case. She has a tainted image – and that is her fault and the fault of those who guided her to a place where she looks for solutions to performance beyond good diet, regime and care. Your interpretation of what meldonium is differs from that of WADA. The vitamins I take are in my food; I am not an elite athlete and not a signatory to the WADA Code – she is; you believe she took it when it was allowed, but like the rest of us you only have her word on that – and her word has proved problematic in the past, starting with a relationship with a coach who advises ‘no supplements’ and says he believes 100% that you can win and cope with the training and prosper on a good diet … but then he finds that his charge tests positive for banned substances found in products that she did not tell the coach she was taking. If it were me, she would have been gone from my program first time round, trust being critical to athlete-coach relationships.

anna prostyakova@yandex.ru

Craig, do you really think that all professional athletes don’t take any vitamins and minerals? Just fruits and vegetables? I know that once she made a mistake, but she was banned for it! So you think that any athlete who has already had 1 positive doping sample has no right to compete again??? Yulia follows strictly the rules of WADA! About Meldonium… I haven’t read a single evidence that Meldonium can enhance the athletes performance… WADA has no information about it effects and how long it stays in the system! You said that we cannot trust Efimova word. Ok, but the concentration of Meldonium in her body tells something… May be not for you but for scientists!

Craig Lord

Anna, whether it was a mistake or not, she did not follow the rules of WADA, clearly not. Whether other athletes take vitamins and minerals is besides the point, Anna. We’re talking about banned substances, not vitamins and minerals. If meldonium should not be a banned substance, we will see WADA apologise, make good and clear every case on the book, including that of Sharapova. Time will tell. And whichever way it goes, I can only hope that this swimmer has understood the bad pattern in her behaviour: twice, now, she has been found to be taking substances that she did not inform her American coach about. Why would she not want to inform those she works with about extra supplementation given all we know about the inherent risks, given all she learned first time round? We will find common ground in this argument but just as you have not read anything that tells you meldonium is the devil, I have read nothing to suggest this swimmer is a saint, nor, unless I missed it, have I seen the apologies she should make to those she races against and has shown a deep lack of respect for (the latter the view of some of those rivals, not just mine). No idea why any particular athlete would want to be taking meldonium; can’t believe they all needed this for the same medical condition – and given the risks, the mind boggles at the thought of anyone looking at this phrama product as a ‘vitamin for the heart’ (the compound was originally envisioned as a “growth stimulator for animals and fowl,” according to a United States patent granted in 1984). Meanwhile, I refer you to these points of reference among many others:
http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2016/03/08/up-to-speed-on-meldonium
This, used far and wide, in relation to Sharapova: The manufacturer of the meldonium drug says that the common course of treatment is usually four weeks to six weeks, and the course may need to be repeated twice or even three times a year. This then raises concerns about why Maria Sharapova has been using it for health-related concerns over the past 10 years. The company says that “only physicians can follow and evaluate a patient’s health condition” and then determine whether or not they should be taking the drug for longer periods of time.
The latter does not sound like a simple vitamin to me – and nor does this:
… side effects include an irregular heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, irregular skin conditions, an allergic reaction, and/or indigestion …and … according to the National Library of Medicine, meldonium works by helping the user be more active: “They become more active, their motor dysfunction decreases, and asthenia, dizziness and nausea become less pronounced.”
I can’t think of a vitamin one would take to reproduce any of that unless you were to take a month’s dose in one and cause yourself deliberate harm.
Some other clues:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/11/sports/tennis/effects-of-meldonium-on-athletes-are-hazy.html
“…it has been sold in Russia and former states of the Soviet Union mainly to treat conditions, like angina and heart attacks, in which the heart is not getting enough oxygen.”
Two points on the latter: if you cannot as a fit athlete get enough oxygen to your heart, you ought not to be racing for Olympic gold medals, in my humble opinion … the process for improving such things is called training, not taking substances that promote such changes to the human body.

aswimfan

WADA even sold Russian whistleblower back to FSB.. emm.. sorry. ..I mean Russian Sports Officials:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/sports/olympics/world-anti-doping-agency-russia-cheating.html?_r=0

In December 2012, the World Anti-Doping Agency received an email from an Olympic athlete from Russia. She was asking for help.

The athlete, a discus thrower named Darya Pishchalnikova, had won a silver medal four months earlier at the London Olympics. She said that she had taken banned drugs at the direction of Russian sports and antidoping authorities and that she had information on systematic doping in her country. Please investigate, she implored the agency in the email, which was written in English.

“I want to cooperate with WADA,” the email said.

But WADA, the global regulator of doping in Olympic sports, did not begin an inquiry, even though a staff lawyer circulated the message to three top officials, calling the accusations “relatively precise,” including names and facts. Instead, the agency did something that seemed antithetical to its mission to protect clean athletes. It sent Ms. Pishchalnikova’s email to Russian sports officials — the very people who she said were running the doping program.

Craig Lord

asf, that link and reference to original article is in this article next door:
http://www.swimvortex.com/wada-tells-iaaf-anti-doping-agents-blocked-threatened-in-russia-unready-for-rio/

Yozhik

“Умом Россию не понять, …. “ Тютчев.
Anna, your emotional posting is not about Efimova at all. It is more like “наших бьют!” I would expect and welcome more substance from Russian commenters because many periodicals in Russian or in English are bias. Unfortunately your comments are raising more questions than gives answers. Do I think Efimova is a cheater? Yes, I do. And not just because she was caught cheating, but mostly because the decision to cheat was done consciously perfectly knowing the risk involved. It wasn’t an innocent, one time mistake as you see it. It wasn’t a mistake of nine years old boy who started smoking and drinking to look adult. It wasn’t a mistake of teenager girl taking narcotic being under peer pressure at the party. It wasn’t a mistake of an athlete of retirement age who makes it in desperation having nothing to lose. I don’t excuse any of such cases, but I can at least understand the nature of motivation. The Efimova’s case is nothing like that. There was no natural motivation that people can understand or a temporary temptation that she could not withstand. It was a conscious cheating. Nothing else. Was it any remorse after that? No. “Don’t do a crime if you cannot do time” – that was and is her attitude. Why did she do it in between of Olympics and World Championships season, I have no clue. Was it the European and the desire to beat Meilutyte? Or she began to do it long time before, but was not just caught.
In this meldonium case I don’t know details to be conclusive, but when I see inconsistencies of Efimova’s statements I don’t believe that she is innocent and don’t trust any of her words. She may not get banned this time but it doesn’t change anything. She is a lying cheater.
This “vitamin” talks is BS. Neither Sharapova nor Efimova mentioned word “vitamin”, but both of them insisted that this drug was taken either to prevent the health problem that runs in family (Sharapova) or to treat the current health issue (Efimova). The health problem that required prohibited by FDA drugs and that miraculously disappeared on January 1, 2016 to the condition that no more meldonium was needed. She stated that she wasn’t aware that this drug got banned and it was a pure coincidence that it was considered illegal by WADA on the day when it became suddenly of no more help after many years of uninterrupted usage.
The statement of her previous couch Вятчанина, is even more revealing. She was surprised that Efimova was CAUGHT on such peanuts like meldonium implying that much more stringent substances were in her menu and that she was well aware what meldonium is good for.
Why Efimova prefers LA to Moscow or some other nice place in Russia? You tell me. May be she likes it so much that possibility of being caught is not her primary concern. This “наша золотая рыбка” has so heavy American accent that I am not sure any more what language is her first one. Maybe she got addicted to cheating that much that don’t care about consequences, like a chain smoker doesn’t care about lung cancer.
It would be easier to understand and maybe accept you point about Efimova if you give some idea who you consider a cheater – Armstrong, Jones, Sun Yang, Ловцова, Carl Lewis etc. Or there is no such thing in sport at all. Just some innocent mistakes that strips of medals and dreams some retarded morons who are not capable even for such shameless “mistakes”.
Efimova looks a very nice and lovely person outside the pool and therefore there are many people who don’t believe that she is a cheater or do want her to have another chance. But it doesn’t make things better. It qualifies her con artist or put it simply in Russian – “воровка на доверии”.

Zhen Sun

I am just wondering will the names of those 100+ athletes be revealed? It appears to me a bit unfair if only certain athletes were known to the public

pegasus523

please … “strict liability is the rule” … it is up to Efimova to account for the presence of Meldonium in her body, that is the rule. Shifting blame does not meet the standard of personal accountability. Everyone needs to keep their eye on the ball, especially as the Efimova Entourage attempts sleight-of-hand and deception.

Craig Lord

Yes, I think the weight of words in the counter ‘attack’ here tells us a great deal about where this is coming from, Pegasus.

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