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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, September 14, 2016

 
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Hackers have released the Therapeutic Use Exemptions issued to Venus and Serena Williams detailing the list of drugs they've been approved to use.

Photo credit: Stephen White/CameraSport

Hackers have posted drug records for Venus Williams and Serena Williams from the Rio Olympic Games.

A Russian cyber espionage group hacked the World Anti Doping Agency data base and posted the Williams sisters' medical data online. WADA confirmed and condemned the cyber hacks in a statement.

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“WADA deeply regrets this situation and is very conscious of the threat that it represents to athletes whose confidential information has been divulged through this criminal act,” said Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA. “We are reaching out to stakeholders, such as the IOC, IFs and NADOs, regarding the specific athletes impacted.

“WADA condemns these ongoing cyber-attacks that are being carried out in an attempt to undermine WADA and the global anti-doping system. WADA has been informed by law enforcement authorities that these attacks are originating out of Russia. Let it be known that these criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia further to the outcomes of the Agency’s independent McLaren Investigation Report."

Read WADA's complete statement on the hacks here.

The McLaren Report charges Russia with running a state-sponsored doping program from 2011 to 2015. WADA suggests the hack and release of American athletes' medical data is a retaliatory response to the McLaren Report.

The cyber hacker group Fancy Bears posted the Williams sisters' drug records as well as American gold-medal winning gymnast Simone Bilis and basketball player Elena Delle Donne on its web site.

Fancy Bears posted hacked documents from WADA's Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) database that show both Serena Williams and Venus Williams held Therapeutic Use Exemptions for several drugs, most commonly anti-inflammatories used to treat muscle soreness.

The hacker group called the records "licenses for doping." Read the records here.

Venus Williams issued a statement acknowleding the records had been hacked and released. Williams stated she held a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the medication.

The four-time Olympic gold medal champion didn't disclose the reason for the TUE in her statement.

"I was disappointed to learn today that my private, medical data has been compromised by hackers and published without my permission," Venus Williams said. "I have followed the rules established under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program in applying for, and being granted, 'therapeutic use exemption.'

"I am one of the strongest supporters of maintaining the highest level of integrity in competitive sport and I have been highly disciplined in following the guidelines."

A Therapeutic Use Exemption permits a player to use a prohibited medication or method without committing an anti-doping rule violation, provided the player has a medical condition warranting use of the drug and that all such use is in accordance with the conditions of the TUE.

The International Tennis Federation confirmed the documents are authentic and said the Williams sisters' Therapeutic Use Exemptions are legitimate under WADA rules.

"We can confirm that these documents are genuine Therapeutic Use Exemptions that have been granted under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme in accordance with WADA International Standards," the ITF said in a statement.

The hacked records released from the ADAMS data base show world No. 2 Serena Williams has had a TUE for oxycodone, hydromorphone, prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone in recent years. The expiration dates for Serena Williams' records show her Therapeutic Use Exemptions range from 2010 to 2015.

Predisiolone, an anti-inflammatory, is the most recent TUE Serena held. It expired on June 10, 2015, according to the documents Fancy Bears posted online.

Venus Williams has received TUE for prednisone, prednisolone, triamcinolone and formoterol. Venus Williams has battled the energy-sapping autoimmune illness Sj√∂gren’s Syndrome since 2011.

In the years since revealing her diagnosis, Williams has discussed the effects of the illness publicly.

Biles said she's taken medication to treat ADHD since she was a child.




The Kremlin has categorically denied involvement in the WADA hacks calling charges of Russian involvement "unfounded allegations."

"It can be stated with all certainty that there is no involvement of the official Moscow, [Russian] government or special services in such actions. This is completely ruled out,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told RT.com

 

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