Olympic champion Mo Farah and golfer Justin Rose have become the latest high-profile sportspeople to have their confidential medical records stolen and leaked by Russian hackers.
Farah, who won double gold in Rio, and fellow Briton Rose, the men’s Olympic champion, had their therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) published on Monday by the hackers, who call themselves Fancy Bears.
They were among 26 victims of the latest leak, who also included tennis star Rafael Nadal, British rower Helen Glover and track cyclist Callum Skinner – all gold medallists at the Games.
TUEs are medical certificates which are occasionally granted by doctors and allow sportspeople to take substances that are ordinarily banned under rules set by World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
The hackers have attempted to portray TUEs as tantamount to doping but, while open to question, they are not evidence of any foul play and there is no suggestion that Farah, Rose, Nadal, Glover, Skinner or any of the other leak victims are involved in any wrongdoing.
The International Olympic Committee has called the leaks are aimed at “tarnishing the reputation of clean athletes”. Wada has called them “criminal” and “an attempt to undermine Wada”.
What were Farah's TUEs?
Farah’s documents show two TUEs: one in October 2008 for a corticosteroid called triamcinolone which can be used to treat eczema and allergies; and another in July 2014 for three treatments – morphine, vicodin and an intravenous saline solution – after he collapsed during training.
A spokesperson for the 33-year-old, who also won the 5,000m and 10,000m double at the London 2012 Olympics, said: “He doesn’t have a problem with this 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.”
What were Rose, Glover and Nadal's TUEs?
Documents relating to former US Open champion Rose, 36, show that he was authorised to take the anti-inflammatory medication prednisolone in May this year as he battled a back injury.
Glover, 30, who won gold in the women’s coxless pairs last month for the second Olympics in succession, was granted a long-term TUE in 2009 for a salbutamol asthma inhaler.
Fourteen-time grand slam winner Nadal, 30, who won the men’s doubles title in Rio alongside fellow Spaniard Marc Lopez, received TUEs for anti-inflammatory injections in 2009 and 2012.
Russian officials have denied that the leaks are a state-affiliated operation in response to the banning of the majority of their athletes from the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games following damning Wada reports of widespread doping.