WADA reported twice this week that hackers known as Fancy Bears illegally gained access to its Anti-Doping Administrative Management System (ADAMS). It said on Tuesday that the hackers found their way in through an International Olympic Committee (IOC) created account for the 2016 Olympic Games.
“WADA is very mindful that this criminal attack, which to date has recklessly exposed personal data of 29 athletes, will be very distressing for the athletes that have been targeted; and, cause apprehension for all athletes that were involved in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA.
“To those athletes that have been impacted, we regret that criminals have attempted to smear your reputations in this way; and, assure you that we are receiving intelligence and advice from the highest level law enforcement and IT security agencies that we are putting into action.”
Wiggins and Froome, both at the 2016 Games, were part of the latest document dump involving 25 athletes. The one earlier this week by Fancy Bears (Tsar Team APT28) exposed confidential records on tennis players Serena and Venus Williams and gymnast Simone Biles.
The latest records do not indicate wrong doing. They show Great Britain’s star cyclists received a series of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) over the last eight years.
The hacker posted the UCI Certificate of Approvals for Wiggins and Froome, as well as various PDF documents for other athletes.
Wiggins’s certificate for triamcinolone cited he suffered from a “life long allergy to pollen nasal congestion/rhinorrhoea sneezing throat irritation, wheezing leading to dyspnoea eye watering runny nose known allergy to grass pollen.”
Wiggins’s TUEs since 2008
13-Jun-2008, salbutamol, Inhalation, as needed for one year
12-Dec-2008, salbutamol, Inhalation, up to 2 puffs a day for one year
16-Dec-2008, salbutamol, Inhalation, once or twice daily
29-Jun-2011, triamcinolone acetonide (kenalog), Intramuscular, once
26-Jun-2012, triamcinolone acetonide (triamcinolone), Intramuscular, once
22-Apr-2013, triamcinolone acetonide (triamcinolone), Intramuscular, once
Wiggins in this period rode for teams Highroad, Garmin and Sky.
Froome avoided TUE because of criticism
Froome applied for TUEs only at the time of the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2013 and the Tour de Romandie in 2014, according to the leaked documents. He received approval for corticosteroid prednisolone — 40mg per day for one week – in 2013 and again in 2014.
Following the 2015 Tour de France, Froome said he refused to apply for a TUE for an infection.
“After everything we had been through in this year’s Tour, especially the hostility from different people along the way, it just felt that if we go down this route, we are opening the door for a whole new wave of criticism and aggression,” Froome told the Sunday Times.
“It would have been within the rules, but I didn’t want it to be the Tour de France that was won because he took this medication in the last week.”
In response to the leaks Froome said, “I’ve openly discussed my TUEs with the media and have no issues with the leak, which only confirms my statements.
“In nine years as a professional, I’ve twice required a TUE for exacerbated asthma, the last time was in 2014,” he added.
In response to the leak, Team Sky told Cycling Weekly: “The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process, as set out by UKAD, is ‘a means by which an athlete can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition’.
“Applications made by Team Sky for TUEs have all been managed and recorded in line with the processes put in place by the governing bodies.
“Team Sky’s approach to anti-doping and our commitment to clean competition are well known.”
Other athletes’ records leaked
The leaked records also include three other British athletes: golfer Charley Hull, rugby player Heather Fisher and rower Sam Townsend.
“Given this intelligence and advice, WADA has no doubt that these ongoing attacks are being carried out in retaliation and the global anti-doping system because of our independent Pound and McLaren investigations that exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia,” WADA’s Niggli added.
“We condemn this criminal activity and have asked the Russian Government to do everything in their power to make it stop.”