Hello, #SportBits readers! I’m a little freaked out by all the computer hacking going on these days, how about you?
The New York Times, the DNC, Colin Powell for Pete’s sake! It’s enough to make you want to unplug and shut down completely and while we don’t have definitive proof of who is behind it, all signs point to Putin.
The latest case of cyber espionage occurred September 13th when
the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed that their database of confidential medical records for several Olympic athletes had been accessed by a cyber spy group calling themselves Fancy Bears’.
WADA president Craig Reedie told CNN he believed the attack was, “Clearly retaliatory after 118 of Russia’s athletes were banned from competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following revelations of ‘State-sponsored’ doping.” While Reedie was hesitant to blame the Russian government, he believes Fancy Bears’ has connections to Russia and stated that their reckless actions may delay Russia’s return to the “world stage of athletics.”
The bulk of the information released pertained to TUE, therapeutic use exemptions, which allow an athlete to use, for therapeutic purposes, an otherwise banned substance or method. TUE’s are most commonly used when an athlete has an illness or condition requiring them to take certain medications without breaking any doping laws.
Simone Biles, the 19-year-old American gymnast who won four gold medals and a bronze in Rio, was one of the athletes whose records were released. They showed that Biles tested positive for a drug used to treat ADHD during the Games, as well as a TUE for a medication that treats ADHD. Biles responded in her twitter account:
The hackers also released the TUE’s issued to Venus and Serena Williams detailing the list of drugs they have been approved to use. Venus acknowledged the hack, but didn’t disclose the reason for the TUE.
“I was disappointed to learn today that my private, medical data has been compromised by hackers and published without my permission. 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.” ~ Venus Williams
Olympic and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne had her Olympic drug test results released by Fancy Bears’ too. Donne, a shooting guard for the Chicago Sky, took to social media from the hospital where she was recovering from thumb surgery.
It sure seems like these athletes are taking this massive invasion of privacy in stride. I am not. WADA promises to tighten up security, but really, is there anything we can do? If the hackers want to get you, they will. Thankfully, I think my #SportBits emails would not be interesting enough for them.
Change your passwords people.