Russian hackers condemned as private medical files of Serena Williams and Simone Biles leaked

Frank Dalleres
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The medical files of Serena Williams were among those leaked (Source: Getty)

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have condemned a group of Russian hackers who call themselves the “Fancy Bears” after they accessed and leaked medical data for Rio 2016 stars such as Serena Williams and Simone Biles.

The hackers published what they said were the therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) – permissions to use certain medications that are banned in competition but allowed with a doctor’s approval – for several high-profile American athletes.

Wada confirmed the hack, calling it “a criminal act”, while the IOC decried it as an attempt to smear clean athletes.

“Wada condemns these ongoing cyber-attacks being carried out in an attempt to undermine Wada and the global anti-doping system,” said director general Olivier Niggli. “Wada has been informed by law enforcement authorities these attacks are originating out of Russia.”

A spokesperson for the IOC told Newsweek: “The IOC strongly condemns such methods which clearly aim at tarnishing the reputation of clean athletes. The IOC can confirm, however, that the athletes mentioned did not violate any anti-doping rules during the Olympic Games Rio 2016.”

Women’s world No2 Williams did not win a medal at Rio last month, but sister Venus, whose data has also been leaked, won silver in the mixed doubles. Gymnast Biles proved one of the stars of the Games, claiming four golds.