WADA fury as hack­ers re­lease Biles, Wil­liams’ data

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

THE World An­tiDop­ing Agency yes­ter­day slammed Rus­sian hack­ers who breached its data­base and pub­lished con­fi­den­tial records of US Olympic gym­nast Si­mone Biles and ten­nis stars Venus and Ser­ena Wil­liams (pix).

WADA said in a state­ment that the Rus­sian cy­beres­pi­onage group Tsar Team (APT28), also known as Fancy Bears, had bro­ken into its Anti-Dop­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Man­age­ment Sys­tem (ADAMS) data­base.

The hack­ing group re­leased in­for­ma­tion gleaned from the files of Biles, the Wil­liams sis­ters and US women’s basketball player Elena Delle Donne.

In a post­ing on its web­site, Fancy Bears claimed US ath­letes at the Olympics had “played well but not fair.”

How­ever, none of the doc­u­ments pub­lished by the group pro­vided ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing on the part of the ath­letes in­volved.

In­stead, the dis­closed files set out in­stances where the ath­letes had been granted ex­emp­tions to use var­i­ous med­i­ca­tions for le­git­i­mate rea­sons – a com­mon prac­tice in the sports world.

The United States Anti-Dop­ing Agency (USADA) char­ac­terised the hack as a “cow­ardly and de­spi­ca­ble” at­tempt to smear the four women.

“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,” USADA chief ex­ec­u­tive Travis Ty­gart said.

“The cy­ber-bul­ly­ing of in­no­cent ath­letes be­ing en­gaged by these hack­ers is cow­ardly and de­spi­ca­ble,” added Ty­gart, the anti-dop­ing czar who fa­mously helped ex­pose US cy­clist and dope cheat Lance Arm­strong.

Biles said on Twit­ter she had taken med­i­ca­tions for at­ten­tion deficit/ hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der (ADHD) since child­hood. Venus Wil­liams mean­while ex­pressed “dis­ap­point­ment” at the breach, stat­ing: “I am one of the strong­est sup­port­ers of main­tain­ing the high­est level of in­tegrity in com­pet­i­tive sport.”

Delle Donne laughed off the rev­e­la­tions in a up­beat post on Twit­ter.

“I’d like to thank the hack­ers for mak­ing the world aware that I legally take a pre­scrip­tion for a con­di­tion that I’ve been di­ag­nosed with, which WADA granted me an ex­emp­tion for. Thanks guys!” the basketball player wrote. – AFP

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