18:25 14 September 2016
A group of Russian hackers called “Fancy Bears” has admitted to hacking the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) database and leaking confidential medical files of some US Olympic athletes. The hackers accessed records detailing “Therapeutic Use Exemptions” (TUEs), which allow the use of banned substances to athlete’s verified medical needs.
Fancy Bears said that TUEs amount to “licenses for doping.”
Russia has been accused of having state-backed doping programme for its athletes. The country’s track and field team was banned from the Rio Olympics and all of its athletes are barred from the ongoing Paralympics.
"Let it be known that these criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia," Wada director-general Olivier Niggli said.
Meanwhile, US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart called the hack “cowardly and despicable.”
"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.
Patrick Sandusky, the spokesman for the US Olympic Committee, said that it has had “zero adverse findings from the Rio Olympic Games that weren’t 100% within the medical guidelines set forth by anti-doping authorities.”