The hackers responsible for leaking confidential medical data stolen from the computers of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) have released a fresh trove of information that includes drug exemption records of four British athletes. suspected Russian hackers!!!
“Greetings World. We are Fancy Bears’. We keep on exposing the information about the athletes who got Wada permission for doping,” the group said in a statement. The British athletes are boxer Nicola Adams, cyclist Laura Trott, competitive swimmer Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and rower Olivia Carnegie-Brown.
The latest disclosure, the third such release, also includes information on Olympic competitors from Denmark, Australia, Spain and Germany. Like prior records, the leak consists of therapeutic-use exemptions (TUEs) which are routinely provided to athletes suffering from genuine conditions and are carefully regulated by officials.
Some of the drugs listed in the documents – each marked confidential – includes methylprednisolone, used for anti-inflammation, and prednisolone which is used to treat breathing problems.
The hacking group believed to be responsible for the Wada infiltration – known as APT28 or Fancy Bear – is thought to be linked to Russian Intelligence and evidence suggests it is the same collective that targeted the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in July.
The release came on the same day as Russian president Vladimir Putin denied Kremlim involvement but said the leaking of the confidential medical data from the Olympic athletes was “of interest to the international public”.
“We don’t support what hackers have been doing, but their findings cannot but be of interest to the international public, sports public first and foremost,” he said during a sporting conference on 16 September, according to the TASS news agency.
“Very many questions arise. Healthy athletes legally take medications outlawed for others, while people, who obviously suffer from grave illnesses and disabilities, are barred from participation in Paralympic Games on sheer suspicion.”
There is no evidence that any of the documents suggest illegal activity or doping on behalf of the named sporting stars.
During the first leak, one of the targeted sporting figures – Simone Biles – brushed off the leak and said the listed medication was necessary to treat a personal condition.
“I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid. Please know, I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me,” she wrote on Twitter.
Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United State Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said it is “unthinkable” that hackers would attempt to “smear” athletes by publishing confidential medical material. “In each of the situations, the athlete has done everything right in adhering to the global rules for obtaining permission to use a needed medication,” he said in a statement.
“The cyberbullying of innocent athletes being engaged in by these hackers is cowardly and despicable. It is time for the entire international community to stand up and condemn this cyberattack on clean sport and athlete’s rights.”
Previously, Wada employed professor Richard McLaren to investigate spurious claims of Russian state-sponsored doping. The conclusions of the report were damning, implicating the FSB, the Russian Ministry of Sport (MofS) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in collusion. Many believe that – despite consistent denials – the hack is retaliation for Wada banning numerous Russian athletes from the 2016 competition in Rio.