World swimming champion Yulia Efimova facing life ban
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 17/03/16 3:15pm
Russia's world swimming champion Yulia Efimova is facing a possible life ban after being suspended on suspicion of breaking anti-doping rules.
Russian media is reporting that she has been found to use meldonium - the same substance found in Maria Sharapova's sample at the Australian Open.
The four-time world champion, who won bronze at the London Olympics in 2012, was previously banned for 16 months in 2013 for a doping offence. If a second offence is confirmed, she could be banned from the sport for life.
She is the latest high-profile name caught up in the series of doping scandals that have dogged Russia over the last two years.
In a brief statement, the Russian Swimming Federation said it had received documents from international governing body FINA stating that Efimova was suspended "in connection with a possible breach of anti-doping rules".
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said last week that 99 athletes worldwide have tested positive for meldonium since the ban came into force at the start of the year.
Meldonium is manufactured in Latvia and prescribed to treat heart disease.
On Wednesday Russian president Vladimir Putin blasted sports officials in the country for failing to warn athletes in time that meldonium had been added to the list of banned substances.