WADA allowed Williams sisters to take banned substances – leaked files
The allegations were published on the website of the hacktivist group Fancy Bear, which described the revelations as being “just the tip of the iceberg.”
World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) has released a statement confirming the cyber attack. It noted that the cyber intrusion was conducted by a Russian hacker team and that it is taking the attack “very seriously.”
“The group accessed athlete data, including confidential medical data – such as Therapeutic Use Exemptions delivered by International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) – related to the Rio Games.”
According to the body, the information was obtained “through spear phishing of email accounts.”
An internal investigation has been launched, WADA said in the statement.
The documents the group says it hacked from WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) database contain information that Serena Williams, one of the world’s greatest ever tennis players, was taking a number of banned substances.
Williams was allowed to take oxycodone, hydromorphone, prednisone and methylprednisolone in 2010, 2014 and 2015, despite the substances being placed on WADA’s list of banned substances.
However, the documents released also showed that Williams had been given special permission to take some of the drugs. The authorization was given by Dr. Stuart Miller from the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Serena’s older sister Venus was found to have taken prednisone, prednisolone, triamcinolone and formoterol, which are also on WADA’s banned list. However, she was given special dispensation to take the substances as long as she adhered to various conditions regarding the use of the drugs.
Both Serena and Venus Williams were allowed to take the prohibited drugs, the ITF says.
“The Williams sisters had permission for the therapeutic use of banned drugs,” the ITF is quoted as saying by TASS.
Meanwhile, American gymnast Simone Biles tested positive for methylphenidate after giving a urine sample. However, like the Williams sisters, she was given special dispensation to take the drug.
RT has contacted the International Federation of Gymnastics for comment, with its representative saying the body followed the current rules and that there is “no problem.”
“She [Biles] has a therapeutic use exemption, there is nothing we have to mention about that, everything is absolutely clear and according to the rules.”
The leaked documents do not contain any diagnoses for the affected athletes, with the respective fields in the papers marked as“confidential.”