Exclusive: CAS partially upholds Olympic appeal of Russian swimmer Efimova

Jun 20, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Yulia Efimova (RUS) checks her time after completing the final qualifying heat of the Women 200M Breaststroke during the morning session at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, Calif. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Four-times breaststroke world champion Yulia Efimova was handed an Olympic lifeline on Thursday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport partially upheld her appeal against a Games ban.

Efimova had been disqualified from competing by swimming governing body FINA between October, 2013 and February, 2015 after testing positive for traces of the anabolic steroid DHEA.

That triggered an automatic Games ban based on the IOC’s set of criteria issued for Russian competitors following revelations of widespread state-backed doping across many sports in the country.

CAS say that Olympic ban is “unenforceable”, saying an athlete cannot be sanctioned twice for a doping offense. FINA will now have to decide on her eligibility.

Editing by: Ossian Shine