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Doping agency WADA blames Russian hackers for leak of athletes' data

Zaira Scannapieco | 21 Settembre, 2016, 13:51

In a fresh release, the group this time published confidential data of 25 athletes, from eight countries.

The British Olympic Association is bracing itself for Russian hackers to leak the names of another 48 Team GB athletes who competed in Rio having held a current - or previously held - therapeutic use exemption (TUE), allowing them to use medication on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of the athletes.

NEWS BRIEF A group of hackers calling themselves the Fancy Bears released the medical records of 25 global Olympic athletes late Wednesday, just days after they leaked similar information for several prominent U.S. Olympians.

MOSCOW, Sept 16 Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) records leaked by hackers raised a lot of questions, TASS news agency reported.

WADA director general Olivier Niggli apologised to athletes who had their data released, and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) chief executive Nicole Sapstead also condemned the attacks and outlined the organisation's process on TUEs.

WADA considers the attacks are being carried out as retaliation for the agency's investigations that exposed state-sponsored doping in Russian Federation and led to virtually the entire track and field team being banned from last month's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Earlier this week Fancy Bear leaked medical information about Olympic Games athletes like tennis players Serena and Venus Williams and gymnast Simone Biles.

Tour de France legend Chris Froome took banned substance prednisolone between 2013 and 2014 because he had a severe cold.

"The IGF was contacted today by WADA informing us that confidential data from one golf athlete's record had been illegally obtained from WADA's ADAMS system and released into the public domain".

Triamcinolone acetonide, given because of Sir Bradley's lifelong allergy to pollen, was also approved by Zorzoli.

These Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) are exemptions given to use a banned substances - but are completely legal under cycling rules. Following the attack, the Norwegian anti-doping agency today stated that they would, with immediate effect, stop using ADAMS for the treatment of TUEs because of the personal data involved, the Norwegian NADO said in a statement.

"We continue to treat this matter with the utmost concern and seriousness, and we are working hard with WADA to urgently determine what impact, if any, this may have on other British athletes, and exactly what information may have been compromised".

"We strongly believe in the fight against doping at all levels of our sport and we are committed to keeping our sport clean through on-going and extensive education programmes".

British Cycling said: "We're proud of our strong anti-doping culture at British Cycling".

The WADA statement confirming this attack explicitly blamed the "Russian cyber hackers, "Fancy Bear" [aka Tsar Team (APT28)]" in apparent retaliation for the investigations by Dick Pound and Richard McLaren that led to a blanket ban of all but one athlete from the nation's track and field team and 118 athletes in all.

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