The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirms that, once again today, the cyber hacker Group “Fancy Bear” released a batch of confidential athlete data on their website, which they illegally obtained from a Rio 2016 Olympic Games account of WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS). This time, they targeted eleven athletes that include three from Australia, one from Denmark, two from Germany, one from Spain and four from the United Kingdom – from the sports of boxing, cycling, rowing, shooting, swimming and tennis.
Yet again, the leaked data relates to confidential Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) delivered by International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs).
In the Group’s initial data releases, which WADA commented upon earlier this week, they threatened to release more data over time; and so, while this is regrettably unsettling for all involved, it is not unexpected and we must be prepared for more.
With this in mind, stakeholders should know that WADA is being consulted and taking action based on intelligence and advice from the very highest levels of international law enforcement; along with, top cyber security experts to ensure that the broader ADAMS remains secure.
The Agency is also in contact with the relevant NADOs and IFs whose athletes are impacted by this latest data release so that they can provide them with the necessary support.
We take this opportunity to clarify misinformation that is circulating in the media related to the purpose of TUEs. In short, athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require a particular substance or method that appears on WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List). In such instances, they may be granted a TUE, which gives them permission to take a substance or use a method. TUEs are only granted by IFs, NADOs and Major Event Organizers (MEOs) following a robust review process that is defined in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE); and, evaluation by three physicians specialized in sports medicine and/or other relevant specialties. Granted TUEs are subject to further evaluation by the relevant ADOs and WADA. It is very unfortunate that athletes’ TUEs are being debated publically on the basis of partial, confidential, medical information. Athletes should not be required to publically justify their TUEs. The program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport; and, it has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and all anti-doping stakeholders.
Please note that WADA is committed to providing updates as circumstances evolve.