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Anti-doping commission head: It is wrong to link cyberattacks on WADA database to Russia

September 15, 2016, 15:28 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. It is incorrect to link the cyberattacks on the database of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to Russia, this is a global problem, Vitaly Smirnov, the head of the independent public anti-doping commission, said in a statement on Thursday.

The independent public anti-doping commission has requested assistance of Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) in a probe into the hacking of World Anti-Doping Agency’s database, says a statement of the commission’s chief, Vitaly Smirnov.

"We have requested assistance of a competent state agency, Roskomnadzor, which has confirmed its readiness to make use of all available means and its authority in a probe into this incident," the statement said.

The statement said the probe required "technical information on WADA’s IT-resources, and possibly other available data, which we have already requested from them".

"Roskomnadzor has assured us that for investigating this issue, it is ready to involve other public authorities. We have to state that these cyber-attacks substantially undermine our joint with WADA efforts towards normalization of relations, and we hope that the malefactors will be found shortly and actions will be taken against them," Smirnov said in the statement.

An anonymous group of hackers posted information on their website on Tuesday about hacking personal medical histories of athletes from the United States and the drugs they were prescribed in recent years, which were on WADA’s restricted list.

They group announced the hacking of the database of ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System) and leaked documents proving that WADA found an official loophole to sanction the use of banned performance enhancing drugs by US legendary tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, US four-time Olympic Champion in gymnastics Simone Biles, as well as North American women’s basketball player Elena Dolle Donne.

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli issued a hasty response on the matter on Tuesday night calling the cyber-attack a criminal act on behalf of Russia and saying that "WADA has been informed by law enforcement authorities that these attacks are originating out of Russia."

Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson rejected any possible connection of Russian hackers’ involvement in this week’s cyber-attack on ADAMS.

"Hackers and cyber-attacks are outlawed in Russia just like in the rest of the world," Zakharova said. "Russia stands against hackers and there is a relevant set of laws in force concerning this issue."

Amid the most recent developments, the hackers from the very same web source came up on Wednesday night with another batch of revealing information. They posted documents exposing the fact that the global anti-doping agency WADA favored the consumption of banned drugs by 25 more athletes from eight countries.

Among the athletes in the newly-published list of 25 alleged doping abusers, the website sheds light on 14 medal winners from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, including Russian boxer Misha Aloyan, who won the Rio silver last month in men’s under-52 kg category.

On July 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the Russian Olympic Committee to set up an independent public commission to control anti-doping fight. On July 25, The ROC’s Executive Committee approved Vitaly Smirnov as head of the commission.

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