Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah and Olympic 800m silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba are among a further 26 athletes across a range of sports to have medical data released by hackers
Mo Farah is among a further group of 26 athletes to have had their medical data released by hackers going by the name of ‘Fancy Bears’.
The hackers, described by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as “Russian cyber hackers”, are said to have illegally accessed the agency’s anti-doping administration and management system (ADAMS) via an International Olympic Committee-created account for the Rio 2016 Games. Four batches of athlete medical data have now been released, with the leaks including documentation claiming to show substances the athletes have allegedly taken under the approval of their respective governing bodies as Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs).
WADA permits the use of certain substances on its banned list by athletes provided they are able to prove they are required to treat an illness or condition.
According to the documentation released for Farah, who retained both his Olympic 5000m and 10,000m titles in Rio, he had a TUE in October 2008 for an 80mg dosage of the corticosteroid triamcinolone, before another in July 2014 following an incident where he collapsed after a training run at altitude. Farah has spoken about having been placed on a morphine drip following his collapse, and that second TUE lists an intravenous saline solution given as a 48-hour treatment, morphine “administered during hospitalisation” and vicodin.
A spokesperson for Farah said: “As Mo has previously stated, he has got nothing to hide and doesn’t have a problem with this or any of his ADAMS information being released – as evidenced by the fact that he voluntarily shared his blood data with the Sunday Times last year.
“Mo’s medical care is overseen at all times by British Athletics and over the course of his long career he has only ever had two TUEs. The first was back in 2008 for a one-off anti-inflammatory treatment to an injury. The second was in 2014 when Mo collapsed and was airlifted to hospital for emergency care, which consisted of painkillers and being placed on a drip.”
The spokesperson added that a TUE for the same treatment Farah received in 2008 would no longer be required.
Burundi’s Olympic 800m silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba, French sprint hurdler Dimitri Bascou and American sprinter Ariana Washington are also among the 26 athletes from a range of sports to have had medical data leaked in this latest batch. The list also includes Helen Glover, the multiple English Schools finalist who ran for England on the country before becoming a two-time Olympic rowing champion.
There is no suggestion that any of the athletes named have committed any wrongdoing.
This latest data leak follows one from last week in which medical information for London 2012 Olympic discus gold medallist Robert Harting and Rio 2016 shot put champion Michelle Carter was released.
In an earlier statement released by WADA on September 14, WADA’s director general Olivier Niggli said in part: “To those athletes that have been impacted, we regret that criminals have attempted to smear your reputations in this way; and, assure you that we are receiving intelligence and advice from the highest level law enforcement and IT security agencies that we are putting into action.
“Given this intelligence and advice, WADA has no doubt that these ongoing attacks are being carried out in retaliation against the Agency, and the global anti-doping system, because of our independent Pound and McLaren investigations that exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia.
“We condemn this criminal activity and have asked the Russian Government to do everything in their power to make it stop. Continued cyber-attacks emanating from Russia seriously undermine the work that is being carried out to rebuild a compliant anti-doping program in Russia.”