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Yulia Efimova, Russia’s top swimmer, has meldonium ban lifted

Yulia Efimova

KAZAN, RUSSIA - AUGUST 08: Yuliya Efimova of Russia looks on after the Women’s 50m Breaststroke Semi-Finals on day fifteen of the 16th FINA World Championships at the Kazan Arena on August 8, 2015 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Four-time World champion Yulia Efimova of Russia has had her provisional doping suspension lifted by swimming’s governing body.

FINA says it is following a recommendation from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which is conducting further scientific research on Meldonium.

Efimova said she tested positive for meldonium earlier this year, but she professed her innocence. The endurance-boosting drug was banned on Jan. 1.

WADA is researching whether a low concentration of meldonium can indicate whether athletes did not take it after Jan. 1

FINA “clarifies that this case is not closed. Following the outcome of WADA’s scientific studies and subsequent indication on this matter, the FINA Doping Panel will take a decision.”

Efimova is considered Russia’s top medal hope in swimming for the Rio Olympics.

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