Just recently the private medical files of famous athletes such as Venus, Serena Williams and Simone Biles were obtained by Russian hackers from The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada). The group responsible named “Fancy Bears” accused the athletes of consuming illicit psycho-stimulant encouraging better physical performance.
Analysts believe that the cyber-attack on the athletes was an act of ‘revenge’ after Russia’s track and field team were banned from the Rio Olympics over an alleged state-backed doping programme. All of its athletes are also barred from the ongoing Paralympics.
A response by one of the exposed athletes, teenage gymnast Simone Biles claiming that she has remained obedient to the rules went as follows, “I have ADHD and I’ve taken medicine for it ever 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”
The young athlete had obtained the required exemption to consume the medication on Wada’s banned drugs list, which otherwise helps regulate her Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Wada retaliated against the accusation made by the hackers, stating that the attacks on the athletes’ breach of privacy were an attempt to undermine the global anti-doping system. The hackers targeted folders dealing with Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) which permits the consumption of banned prescriptions by athletes’ with medical needs. The Fancy Bears claimed that the TUE is a loophole for athletes to partake in doping activities.
“By virtue of the TUE, Biles has not broken any drug-testing regulations, including at the Olympic Games in Rio,” USA Gymnastics said. Similarly Serena Williams is allowed to consume drugs, such as anti-inflammatories, commonly used to relax muscle injuries.
Russia’s attempts to expose athletes’ misuse of prescription, after their own doping scandal leaves much to be desired, making it harder for the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust with the country