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WADA Says Russian Hackers Leaked Data Of 25 More Athletes

  • RFE/RL

The World Anti-Doping Agency said Russian hackers have leaked the data of another 25 athletes from eight nations.

The World Anti-Doping Agency said Russian hackers have leaked the data of another 25 athletes from eight nations.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says another batch of athletes' data has been leaked by the same Russian cyberespionage group that published confidential data earlier this week.

WADA said late on September 14 that the hackers released the data of 25 athletes, including 10 from the United States, five each from Germany and Britain, and one each from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, Romania, and Russia.

Among the athletes are 14 who won medals in the Rio Olympics last month, it said. TASS identified the Russian athlete as boxer Misha Aloyan. WADA did not identify the other athletes.

The leaked information revealed records of "therapeutic use exemptions" (TUEs), which allow athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need.

WADA said the hackers illegally gained access to its Anti-Doping Administration and Management System, which included confidential medical data such as TUEs.

The hackers' leaks are seen as an attempt to equate TUEs with doping by Russian athletes.

WADA said it believes this week's attacks are being carried out as retaliation for the agency's investigations that exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia.

"We condemn this criminal activity and have asked the Russian government to do everything in their power to make it stop," WADA Director-General Olivier Niggli said.

"Continued cyberattacks emanating from Russia seriously undermine the work that is being carried out to rebuild a compliant anti-doping program in Russia."

WADA said the hacking groups known as APT28 and Fancy Bears were responsible. On September 13, it fingered the same hackers for posting data about U.S. athletes Simone Biles, Elena Delle Donne, and Serena and Venus Williams.

"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," Niggli said.

"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."

Williams, who won a silver medal in mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics, issued a statement saying she was granted TUEs "when serious medical conditions have occurred" and those exemptions were "reviewed by an anonymous, independent group of doctors, and approved for legitimate medical reasons."

In a statement, U.S. Gymnastics said Biles -- who won four gold medals and one silver medal in Rio -- was approved for an exemption and had not broken any rules.

The name Fancy Bears is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a collection of hackers that security researchers have long associated with Russia.

In an online statement on September 13, the group proclaimed its allegiance to Anonymous, the loose-knit movement of online mischief-makers, and said it hacked WADA to show the world "how Olympic medals are won."

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and TASS