Yuliya Efimova Among Eight Swimmers Granted Neutral Individual Athlete Status, Clears Way For Paris 2024

Yuliya Efimova of Russia on her way winning in the women’s 200m Breaststroke Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 26 July 2019.
Yuliya Efimova - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Yuliya Efimova Among Eight Swimmers Granted Neutral Individual Athlete Status, Clears Way To Paris 2024

Yuliya Efimova and Ilya Shymanovich are among eight swimmers from Russia and Belarus who have been granted status as neutral individual athletes, clearing the way to compete at Paris 2024.

The details of the eight – plus one artistic swimmer – as well as nine support staff across swimming, diving and artistic swimming, was confirmed by the Aquatics Integrity Unit which states they “have been granted neutral individual/personnel status by the Aquatics Integrity Unit pursuant to the World Aquatics criteria on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes.”

Efimova – the sole Russian – is the most high-profile of the nine with three Olympic medals dating back to London 2012 where she claimed bronze in the 200m breaststroke.

Four years later, she won silver in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at Rio 2016 where her presence on poolside was greeted by boos from the crowd and blunt opinions from her fellow competitors, Lilly King chief among them, after she tested positive for meldonium.

In between, there was a 16-month ban handed down in May 2014 after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid DHEA the previous October.

Born in Grozny, Russia, the 32-year-old has lived in the USA for several years.

Belarusian Shymanovich – like Efimova a breaststroke specialist – has also enjoyed success on the global stage with world and European short-course titles.

He also claimed 50m silver behind Adam Peaty at the European Championships in Budapest in 2021, months before the Olympics.

Anastasiya Shkurdai, who won bronze in the 200 back at the 2024 World Championships as a neutral individual athlete, has also been granted status.


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1 month ago

She may be approved to be a neutral; but does that get her in the meet.

I don’t see that she has met any time standards in the qualifying period.

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