A group of Russian hackers broke into the World Anti-Doping Agency’s database earlier this week and released the private medical records of multiple Olympic athletes, including Simone Biles, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams.
According to E! News, all three of the superstar athletes had been “given medical exemptions to use banned drugs” for various reasons, and Simone had tested positive for one of WADA’s banned substances prior to the 2016 Summer Games. In response, Simone took to Twitter on Tuesday to explain her side of the story, and to further emphasize that she did not misuse any drugs or cheat.
“I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid,” she wrote. “Please know, I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me.”
“Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of [and] nothing that I’m afraid to let people know,” she continued.
WADA later released a statement on the matter, condemning the cyber-attack and to state that they believe it happened as a result of email phishing. They also believe that the attack happened in response to the Russian doping scandal at this year’s Olympics.
“WADA deeply regrets this situation and is very conscious of the threat that it represents to athletes whose confidential information has been divulged through this criminal act,” Director General Olivier Niggli said. “We are reaching out to stakeholders, such as the IOC, IFs and NADOs, regarding the specific athletes impacted.”
“Let it be known that these criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia further to the outcomes of the Agency’s independent McLaren Investigation Report,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the team behind the cyber-attack — which goes by the name Fancy Bears — has released a statement on their website saying that they “stand for fair play and clean sport” and intend to keep releasing information from the WADA database.
“We will start with the U.S. team which has disgraced its name by tainted victories,” they wrote. “We will also disclose exclusive information about other national Olympic teams later. Wait for sensational proof of famous athletes taking doping substances any time soon.”