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Olympic athletes shrug off medical data leaks by hackers

By Associated Press in Geneva (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-17 09:11

A two-time Wimbledon singles champion, two Tour de France winners and an Olympic discus gold medalist had the same answer Thursday to the latest leak by hackers of confidential medical information: so what?

Petra Kvitova, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Robert Harting - all Rio de Janeiro Olympians last month - reacted with sarcasm and shrugs to the leak from the World Anti-Doping Agency database.

The four athletes said their use of approved medications was already widely reported or they welcomed the openness resulting from an alleged Russian-led cyberattack that WADA believes is revenge for investigations into a state-backed doping program in Russia.

"To say that Petra Kvitova suffers from asthma and uses medication for treatment is the same revelation as saying she's won Wimbledon," a spokesman for the Czech tennis player, Karel Tejkal, said.

German discus thrower Robert Harting, the 2012 Olympic champion, wrote on Twitter that "We don't hide anything. Go transparency!"

"I've openly discussed my TUEs (therapeutic use exemptions) with the media and have no issues with the leak which confirms my statements," three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome said.

Kvitova, Harting and Froome were headline names among 25 athletes from eight countries - including 10 from the United States - whose confidential details of using authorized medications spilled into the public domain late Wednesday.

All three competed at the Rio Olympics where Kvitova and Froome won bronze medals.

Also leaked was detail of asthma medication used by Wiggins, another British winner of the Tour de France and winner of a fifth career Olympic gold in Rio.

"There's nothing new here," a statement issued on behalf of Wiggins said. "Everyone knows Brad suffers from asthma; his medical treatment is BC (British Cycling) and UCI (International Cycling Union) approved."

WADA confirmed a second round of leaked data posted online, after medical records of gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams were among four American female Olympians whose data was revealed Tuesday.

All 29 cases revealed records of "Therapeutic Use Exemptions" which allow athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need. There is no suggestion any of the athletes broke any rules.

The substances identified in the leaks are typically anti-inflammatory medications and treatments for asthma and allergies.

Froome's use of strong anti-inflammatory medication, approved by the UCI for the 2014 Tour de Romandie race in Switzerland, was widely reported two years ago.

 

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