One more notorious case in the world of sports! Two months ago, a possible disqualification of all Russian athletes and government officials from the participation in this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was the subject of much debate. The decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency was based on the results of independent investigation conducted by Richard McLaren, Canadian lawyer.
This time, some “criminal” Russian hackers broke into the database which monitors athletes for drugs testing. A cyber-espionage group got access and published confidential documents about three of sport’s biggest female stars, the Williams sisters and Simone Biles. The group made it clear that it is not going to stop and is planning a wave of leaks of the records of competitors from last month’s Olympics.
Biles responded to the accusations:
Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I'm afraid to let people know.
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) September 13, 2016
The hackers are hiding under the nickname Fancy Bears. They tried to justify the publication of secret documents by claiming it was revealing the scale of authorised drug use by athletes. The publication though didn’t find support and approval of the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Fancy Bears wrote on a website where documents were published: “Greetings citizens of the world. Allow us to introduce ourselves… We are Fancy Bears’ international hack team. We stand for fair play and clean sport. We announce the start of #OpOlympics. We are going to tell you how Olympic medals are won. We hacked World Anti-Doping Agency databases and we were shocked with what we saw.”
According to Telegraph, hackers managed to get access to Wada’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) via an IOC-created account for the Olympics using what was described as “spear-phishing of email accounts” to obtain account passwords.
The leak of information occurred days after Wada revealed that its systems had been bombarded by daily attacks since the scandal with Russian track-and-field athletes.
Wada director general Olivier Niggli said: “Wada deeply regrets this situation and is very conscious of the threat that it represents to athletes whose confidential information has been divulged through this criminal act. Wada condemns these ongoing cyber-attacks that are being carried out in an attempt to undermine Wada and the global anti-doping system. We have been informed by law-enforcement authorities that these attacks are originating out of Russia. 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.”
The published documents contain information that tennis legends the Williams sisters, Rio 2016 gymnastics superstar Biles and US basketball player Elena Delle Donne were granted medical exemptions – known as Therapeutic Use Exemptions – over several years to take otherwise banned substances.