MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. A recent cyber attack of the anonymous group of hackers Fancybears on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has compromised the association’s database on the Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE), the IAAF said in its statement on Monday.
"The IAAF has been a victim of a cyber attack which it believes has compromised athletes' Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) applications stored on IAAF servers," the statement from the IAAF said.
"The presence of unauthorized remote access to the IAAF network by the attackers was noted on 21 February where meta data on athlete TUEs was collected from a file server and stored in a newly created file," the statement said.
"It is not known if this information was subsequently stolen from the network, but it does give a strong indication of the attackers’ interest and intent, and shows they had access and means to obtain content from this file at will," the IAAF added.
Commenting on the situation, IAAF President Sebastian Coe expressed his apologies to all athletes, who could be possibly involved in the cyber attack saying "Our first priority is to the athletes who have provided the IAAF with information that they believed would be secure and confidential."
"They have our sincerest apologies and our total commitment to continue to do everything in our power to remedy the situation and work with the world’s best organizations to create as safe an environment as we can," Coe was quoted as saying in the statement.
Last September, the same group of hackers posted information on their website Fancybears.net about hacking personal medical histories of athletes from the United States and other countries 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, North American women’s basketball player Elena Dolle Donne and many other international athletes, including Olympic medalists.
Official sources later confirmed that athletes at the issue were officially allowed to take banned performance enhancing drugs due to their health restrictions under WADA’s official permission called as the Therapeutic Use Exemption.