The World Anti-Doping Agency said that the "Fancy Bear" Russian hacking group has leaked the confidential data of another 11 athletes who competed in the Rio Olympics.
The athletes include four from the United Kingdom, three from Australia, two from Germany, and one each from Denmark and Spain. As with previous leaks, the athletes each obtained "therapeutic use exemptions" to use drugs that otherwise are banned, but were needed to treat medical conditions.
The latest leak came as Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin frowns on such hacking, but believes the leaks include "interesting findings" that are in the "public interest" -- a statement similar to the one he made about suspected Russian leaks aimed at influencing the U.S. presidential election earlier this month.
The anti-drug agency stressed that the use of drugs by each athlete who obtained an exemption was legal and in keeping with the rules governing the use of drugs in sports.
"Athletes should not be required to publically justify their [exemptions]. The program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport; and, it has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians, and all anti-doping stakeholders," the agency said.
Press reports identified the athletes whose data was leaked as Britons Nicola Adams, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the women's flyweight boxing division; Laura Trott, the 2016 Olympic champion in cycling; Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, the Olympic silver medalist in swimming; and Olivia Carnegie-Brown, the silver medalist in rowing.
Also named by TASS were Danish bronze medalist in swimming Jeanette Ottesen; Olympic rowing champion Kim Brennan from Australia; Austrlian rower Alexander Belonogov, a silver medalist, and Australian cyclist Jack Bobridge.
TASS also identified Olympic swimming champion Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain, as well as Germans Julian Justus, a shooter, and Laura Siegemund, a tennis player.
The latest leaks bring to 40 athletes whose private records have been exposed by Fancy Bear. Putin said the leaked information raises "very many questions" that should provoke public interest.
"We don't support what hackers have been doing, but their findings cannot but be of interest to the international public, sports public first and foremost," he said as he visited Kyrgyzstan on September 16.
"Very many questions arise. Healthy athletes legally take medications outlawed for others, while people, who obviously suffer from grave illnesses and disabilities, are barred from participation in Paralympic Games on sheer suspicion," he said, referring to the ban on all Russian Paralympians in the Rio games this month, which was imposed after revelations of state-sponsored doping this summer.
Meanwhile, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, said his organization will help WADA investigate and stop the leaks, "including communicating with the Russian authorities to underline the seriousness of the issue and request all possible assistance to stop the hackers."
"This is an unacceptable and outrageous breach of medical confidentiality that attempts to smear innocent athletes who have not committed any doping offense," Bach said.
"The IOC fully support the actions taken by WADA to deal with the leak, including the measures that are being taken to bring this activity to an end with the help of IT experts and in requesting assistance from the Russian authorities," he said.
With reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa, and TASS