Athletes braced for further TUE leaks after IAAF reveals it was hacked by Fancy Bears

Frank Dalleres
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Lord Coe apologised to athletes for the breach (Source: Getty)

Athletics chiefs the IAAF are braced for a leak of confidential medical data after revealing that they have fallen victim to a cyber attack from hackers Fancy Bears.

The hackers made headlines last year when they published a list of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) relating to some of sport’s biggest names, including Mo Farah and Sir Bradley Wiggins, obtained by illegally accessing the database of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

IAAF president Lord Coe said TUE files had again been compromised, despite the organisation’s efforts to strengthen their cyber security, and issued an apology to athletes.

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“Our first priority is to the athletes who have provided the IAAF with information that they believed would be secure and confidential,” said Coe.

“They have our sincerest apologies and our total commitment to continue to do everything in our power to remedy the situation and work with the world’s best organisations to create as safe an environment as we can.”

Fancy Bears is thought to be a Russian group whose stated motivation is to expose what it says is hypocrisy within sport.

They have been criticised for revealing confidential medical information and accused of attempting to smear honest athletes with innuendo.

The IAAF added that they notified athletes today but said the breach had been noticed in February by cyber security specialists Context Information Security.

It said that it believed it had now prevented the hackers from gaining further access, having worked with both the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Agence Monegasque de Securite Numerique in Monaco, where the IAAF is based.

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