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Williams sisters never violated international anti-doping regulations — ITF chief

September 14, 15:02 UTC+3 BAKU
WADA allowed Serena and Venus Williams as well as US four-time Olympic Champion in gymnastics Simone Biles and US women’s basketball player Elena Dolle Donne taking banned performance enhancing drugs
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 Serena Williams

Serena Williams

© EPA/JASON SZENES

BAKU, September 14. /TASS/. US legendary tennis stars and sisters Serena and Venus Williams had a special therapeutic permission to take drugs banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), therefore they did not violate anti-doping regulations, the president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) told TASS on Wednesday.

Anonymous hackers from Fancybear.net web portal announced on Tuesday that they hacked the database of WADA’s ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System) and leaked documents proving that WADA allowed Serena and Venus Williams as well as US four-time Olympic Champion in gymnastics Simone Biles and US women’s basketball player Elena Dolle Donne taking banned performance enhancing drugs.

ITF President David Haggerty said in an interview with TASS that, first of all, the global tennis federation was deeply concerned with the fact of illegal access to the database, which contained personal medical information of international athletes.

"We are disappointed and concerned that sensitive medical information relating to tennis players has been obtained and published without permission, and that unjustified conclusions have been drawn from Therapeutic Use Exemption certificates," Haggerty said.

"All Therapeutic Use Exemption applications under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme are considered in accordance with the WADA International Standard for TUEs, and include anonymous review by an independent TUE Committee," according to the ITF president.

"As such, all TUEs granted under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme are for the legitimate therapeutic use of medications and are in no way indicative of doping or a breach of the anti-doping rules," Haggerty added.

According to the leaked information posted on the Fancybear.net, Serena Williams was taking oxycodone and hydromorphone (opioids), prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone. Her sister Venus was allegedly taking prednisone, prednisolone, triamcinolone and formoterol. All mentioned drugs are on WADA’s list of banned substances.

In its official statement regarding the cyber-attack on the ADAMS, WADA announced on Tuesday night that Russia was behind the attack of hackers on its database.

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli called the cyber-attack a criminal act on behalf of Russia saying that "WADA has been informed by law enforcement authorities that these attacks are originating out of Russia.".

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