Yuliya Efimova Back From Doping Ban With 1:05.89 Ranks Topper In Mission Viejo 100m

Russian Yuliya Efimova [La Presse/Arena]

Yuliya Efimova, back from a doping ban after a little over a year, took the helm of the season world rankings with a 1:05.89 win in the 100m breaststroke at the Mission Viejo Invitational in California; Federico Grabich ended his world-title trials campaign in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with a 49.07 victory in the 100m freestyle

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Yuliya Efimova, back from a doping ban after a little over a year, took the helm of the season world rankings with a 1:05.89 win in the 100m breaststroke at the Mission Viejo Invitational in California; Federico Grabich ended his world-title trials campaign in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with a 49.07 victory in the 100m freestyle



Yuliya has certainly maintained great form during her racing ban. 65+ is no shabby swim.

Being rusty normally shows in the first few comeback races. No rust here.

Craig Lord

No surprise, Wez, if you think about it – at Trojan they swim race sets and race pace on a regular basis. Beyond that, the whole thing lacks appeal given the leniency of a ban timed to make sure she could race at a home world titles.



I thought the ban includes no training with any accredited coach/club?

Or am I mistaken?

Craig Lord

aswimfan (have updated this reply with further clarification and explanation…): ineligibility stretches to competitions and funding for duration of suspension (and ‘activity’ and training that is specifically organised by a federation … see wording below). I am not sure how this swimmer funds her way in California but during her suspension she is not supposed to have received any financial assistance from either her club in the USA (under rules that USA Swimming and its membership abide by) nor anything from the Russian federation/Olympic fundings routes.

(Just where one of her sponsors fits in the scenario I will seek clarification on: arena is the official kit partner of FINA and as such if it continued to provide funding for the swimmer in question would render FINA arrangements open to question on grounds of incompatibility and conflict of interest.)

There is nothing that would have prevented the swimmer from training at Trojan (a life ban is treated differently in that respect) for at least the past four months, barring the wish of the club not to be supportive of those who fall foul of anti-doping rules.

Clarification below – 2 problems, one part of the rule clearly states that the athlete may not participate …etc… in activity organised by that swimmer’s federation… well, of course, USA swimming and its member club have no jurisdiction over Efimova in that sense.
Another part of the rule indicates that she may begin to train again in the last quarter of her suspension period after having been unable to participate in any ‘activity’ with a member of a federation or a federation affiliated to FINA.

I will seek clarification on this (because I know for a fact that in several cases banned swimmers have trained through their entire suspension periods… and have asked about his before and received unsatisfactory answers from FINA)

One thing I will say is this: if she genuinely spent 12 months out of training and has trained only for the past 4 months beyond that 1-year out (I don’t believe that to have been the case), then 1:05.8 will surely leave the rest of the world of 100m breaststrokers wondering where they’re going wrong…

The rule:
DC 10.12 Status during Ineligibility
DC 10.12.1 Prohibition against participation during Ineligibility.
No Athlete or other Person (including Athlete Support Personel) who has been declared Ineligible may, during the period of Ineligibility, participate in any capacity in aCompetition or activity (other than authorized anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs) authorized or organized by FINA, any FINA Member Federation, or a club or other member organization of a FINA Member Federation, or in Competitions authorized or organized by any professional league or any international or national-level Competition organization or any elite or national-level sporting activity funded by a governmental agency.
An Athlete or other Person subject to a period of Ineligibility longer than four years may, after completing four years of the period of Ineligibility, participate as anAthlete in local sport Competitions not sanctioned or otherwise under the jurisdiction of a Code Signatory or member of a Code Signatory, but only so long as the local sport Competition is not at a level that could otherwise qualify such Athlete or other Person directly or indirectly to compete in (or accumulate points toward) a national championship or International Competition, and does not involve the Athlete or other Person working in any capacity with Minors.
An Athlete or other Person subject to a period of Ineligibility shall remain subject to Testing.
[Comment to DC 10.12.1: For example, subject to DC 10.12.2 below, an Ineligible Athlete cannot participate in a training camp, exhibition or practice organized by his or her Member Federation or a club which is a member of that Member Federation or which is funded by a governmental agency. Further, an Ineligible Athlete may not compete in a non-Signatory professional league, Competitions organized by a non-Signatory International Competition organization or a non-Signatory national-level competition organization without triggering the Consequences set forth in DC 10.12.3. The term “activity” also includes, for example, administrative activities, such as serving as an official, director, officer, employee, or volunteer of the organization described in this rule. Ineligibility imposed in one sport shall also be recognized by other sports (see DC 15.1, Mutual Recognition).]
DC 10.12.2 Return for Training
As an exception to DC 10.12.1, an Athlete may return to train with a team or to use the facilities of a club or other member organization of FINA’s Member Federationduring the shorter of: (1) the last two months of the Athlete’s period of Ineligibility, or (2) the last one- quarter of the period of Ineligibility imposed.
[Comment to DC 10.12.2: In many Team Sports and some individual sports (e.g., ski jumping and gymnastics), an Athlete cannot effectively train on his or her own so as to be ready to compete at the end of the Athlete’s period of Ineligibility. During the training period described in this rule, an Ineligible Athlete may not compete or engage in any activity described in rule 10.12.1 other than training.]
FINA Doping Control Rules, 1 January 2015
DC 10.12.3 Violation of the prohibition of participation during Ineligibility.
Where an Athlete or other Person who has been declared Ineligible violates the prohibition against participation during Ineligibility described in DC 10.12.1, the results of such participation shall be Disqualified and a new period of Ineligibility equal in length up to the original period of Ineligibility shall be added to the end of the original period of Ineligibility. The new period of Ineligibility may be adjusted based on the Athlete or other Person’s degree of Fault and other circumstances of the case. The determination of whether an Athlete or other Person has violated the prohibition against participation, and whether an adjustment is appropriate, shall be made by FINA or the Member Federation whose results management led to the imposition of the initial period of Ineligibility. This decision may be appealed under DC 13.
Where an Athlete Support Person or other Person assists a Person in violating the prohibition against participation during Ineligibility, the FINA Doping Panel shall impose sanctions for a violation of DC 2.9 for such assistance.



Thanks for the enlightenment on Trojan SC, I am South African based and do not know much about the programs over there.

And i would agree with you too. What i meant was, Michael Phelps comeback seemed rather sluggish in comparison (certainly i do understand time out the water, and that goes as a general rule for all that make comebacks). Yuliya has just gone top of the pile (i know its also still early, but you get my point) I would have been less shocked if the swim produced 67+. Would have made me go “yeah thats about right”

Anyway, thanks for the great reporting as always


How depressing

Kent sc

I’m sorry but I refuse to get excited by a cheat. Clean now or not the leniency afforded to Efimova is barely a punishment, particularly given the fact that no significant major champs have been missed.

Craig Lord

Quite so, Kent sc – and Iain.

Craig Lord

Thanks for the kind note, Wez. I do see what you mean – such a fast time seems almost rude when you’ve supposedly been in a sin bin

Bill Bell

As for continuing to train after suspension, Jessica Hardy did the same thing after getting zapped following the Beijing a Trials. She came back and set ers in 50-100 breast shoot or rather after resuming competition – and she too trained @ Trojan w/Dave Salo, justbas Efimova had done.

Don’t recall anyone calling Hardy a cheat so y the opprobriumi at her Russian counterpart? She served her time so get off her case.

No one’s suggestion Salo,was complicit in her suspension but now these comments smack of guilt by association.

Craig Lord

Bill, your last line was out of line and has been edited out (there is no legal evidence to prove what you suggest). Your reference to a different case fails to note the difference in those cases. I realise you are very tolerant of cheats (as long as they’re not from the GDR beating USA) but you also need to be tolerant of the views of an awful lot of folk who are sick and tired of excuses and explanations (not to mention lenient suspensions timed for political convenience, or so it would appear) that come with a huge loss of trust. As for guilt by association, you raised that, no-one else.

Kent sc

Anyone using banned products is a cheat. End of. As I said “clean or not now” she will always have cheated and was caught. No guilt by association. Guilt by doing and being caught.


Efimova times have a psique aspect.
One of the best questions about a cheater is “without the substance, you are nothing”. So, trying to best her tiimes is a way to tell:”see, i never really cheated at all…”


Time out during the ‘off year’ with no world or Olympic Gamesvhardly seems punishment in some ways.

Craig Lord

DDias – mmm, yes, I can see that may work for the swimmer (whoever it is) but the facts remain in any doping case that has run its course, including this one.

Craig Lord

That very valid point is one made by some of her rivals, Torchbearer. The consequences are not only for the banned athlete to carry. Rikke Pedersen was among those who felt let down … she has a gold medal from a home intl – but she’ll never know what it might have been like to be cheered for as champion in her home town.


As I said in an article about Lance Armstrong, even ruining one person’s career (as pointed about about Rikke Pedersen, and there are others affected all of the time) should be punished more severely, and all violations should be more evenly punished than they are.

Besides, how are the advantages gained from training w/ PEDs taken away with short punishments and while being allowed to train w/ a team?

Viva la Bang

Absolutely, clean athletes are working very hard and to be robbed of gold by cheats leaves the sport and FINA a laughing stock, people will always try to find an edge even by chemical means, sad but true.

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