Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome said yesterday he has “no issue” with his medical data being leaked, in an alleged criminal attack by Russian hackers on a World Anti-Doping Agency database.
Froome was a headline name among 25 athletes – from Britain, the United States and Germany plus five other countries – whose confidential details of using authorised medications spilled into the public domain.
“I’ve openly discussed my TUEs (therapeutic use exemptions) with the media and have no issues with the leak which confirms my statements,” Froome said yesterday.
Also leaked were details of asthma medication used by Bradley Wiggins, another British winner of the Tour de France and five-time Olympic gold medalist.
“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 on 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.
“In nine years as a professional I’ve twice required a TUE for exacerbated asthma, the last time was in 2014,” said Froome, who won his third Tour de France title in July. He took a bronze medal in the time trial at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last month.
The latest round of leaks identified ten athletes from the United States, five from Germany, five from Britain, and one each from Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, Romania and Russia.
“I am furious that the hacking group is using such insolent and illegal methods,” said Michael Ask, head of Anti-Doping Denmark.
Danish swimmer Pernille Blume, who won gold in Rio de Janeiro in the 50-metre freestyle, had “done nothing wrong,” Ask told Denmark TV2 channel.
“She has followed the rules and gotten permission to use the asthma medication which she uses – like many other athletes.”
The statement on behalf of Wiggins said the leak was “an attempt to undermine the credibility of WADA and that’s something for them to deal with.”
WADA said Wednesday that the Russian hacking group known as Fancy Bears had illegally gained access to its Anti-Doping Administration and Management System.