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Russian Swimmer Efimova Not Going to Rio

Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova will not go to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the head of Russia’s Olympic Committee announced Monday.

The 2012 bronze-medalist will not be able to take part as she has a previous conviction for doping, said Alexander Zhukov.

The ban comes under new, stricter entry criteria specifically for Russian athletes from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Any Russian athlete who has been suspended for doping offenses in the past cannot compete at the 2016 Games, even if the suspension has already been served. 

There had been growing calls for the IOC to ban the entire Russian Olympic squad over reports of widespread, state-sponsored doping in the country, but the committee announced Sunday that individual sports federations would determine if athletes should compete. 

Athletes from other nations who have served bans for doping-related offenses can take part in the Olympics.

Efimova was banned for 16 months after testing positive for a banned substance in 2013.

“Why are only Russians being punished in this way? It destroys the principle of equality.” Zhukov said.

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