Russian swimmer suspended for suspected doping

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Moscow, March 18 (IANS) The All-Russian Swimming Federation (ARSF) has confirmed that swimmer Yulia Yefimova had been temporarily suspended from competition for suspected doping.

“All-Russia Swimming Federation has received documents from the International Swimming Federation (FINA) confirming the temporary suspension of the sportswoman from competitions due to possible anti-doping rule violation,” ARSF said in a statement on Thursday.

In order to clarify the situation, ARSF President Vladimir Salnikov would meet shortly with the Ministry of Sport and the Center for Preparation of Russian National Athletic Teams, responsible for the preparation of a group of Russian athletes including Yefimova, reports Xinhua.

Earlier, media reported that Yefimova, 23, four-times world champion and bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics Games, had been allegedly tested positive for meldonium.

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Meldonium, also known as mildronate and used to treat various heart diseases, has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from this year.

WADA considers meldonium to be a metabolic modulator that increases athletes’ endurance and shortens post-exercise rehabilitation time, as well as enhances central nervous system activation.

Prior to Yefimova, 10 Russian athletes, including tennis star Maria Sharapova, have been tested positive for meldonium.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on the government to improve the efficiency of doping prevention, and to toughen penalties for violations of anti-doping rules.

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