LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Sep 21 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is “not in a critical situation,” its boss said on Wednesday, as it battles to prevent hackers gaining more access to confidential medical files.
More than 60 international athletes — among them some of the biggest names in sport — have seen their medical records splashed online by the so-called Fancy Bears to reveal in most cases their use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs).
TUEs can be issued to athletes who have an illness or condition that requires the use of normally prohibited medication. There is no suggestion that any of the named athletes have done anything wrong.
As well as targeted by hackers seemingly from Russia, WADA has faced sustained criticism from within the Olympic movement — IOC president Thomas Bach demanded a sweeping overhaul of WADA on the eve of the Rio Games in August, where many Russian competitors were banned over state-run doping.
“I do not think that the situation is critical for WADA,” director general Olivier Niggli said, adding that an explosive WADA-commissioned report laying bare Russian doping just before the Rio Games “highlighted what is probably one of the biggest doping scandals”.
Niggli was speaking to media in Lausanne, where WADA convened a seminar including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international sports federations to look at how to improve the fight against doping.