WADA Leaks: Froome and Wiggins have their Medical Records Stolen
Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins are among the latest group of athletes to have their medical files stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed the leak from their databases by hackers – the second attack in a matter of days. On Tuesday, Russia-based cyber-espionage group “Fancy Bear” disclosed details about US athletes Serena Williams and Simone Biles. Two days later, WADA confirmed a second leak, which included details of Wiggins, Froome and three other British athletes.
Medical records leaked relate mainly to “therapeutical use exemptions” granted to certain athletes.
The latest leaks suggest that Rio gold medallist Wiggins, who has never made any secret of the fact he suffers from asthma, has several TUEs for salbutamol, a substance commonly used in an inhaler.
Leaked records show Wiggins was allowed to take two substances – including during the 2011 Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. One of the substances, triamcinolone acetonide, was taken for an allergy to pollen.
June 13, 2008 (for 12 months): Salbutamol (inhalation, two puffs, twice daily)
December 16, 2008 (for 12 months): Salbutamol (inhalation, two puffs, twice daily); Formoterol and Budesonide (inhalation, two puffs, twice daily)
December 18, 2008 (for 12 months): Salbutamol and Fluticasone (inhalation, 1-2 times per day)
June 29, 2011: Triamcinolone acetone, 40mg, one-time injection, prior to 2011 Tour de France
June 26, 2012: Triamcinolone acetonide, 40mg, one-time injection, prior to 2012 Tour de France (documentation incorrectly says for Criterium du Dauphine, however date was after Dauphine, before Tour de France)
April 2, 2013: Triamcinolone acetonide, 40mg, one-time injection, prior to 2013 Giro d’Italia
The hacked WADA documents show that Froome was granted a TUE for the corticosteroid prednisolone in May 2013 — 40mg per day for five days leading into the Critierum du Dauphine — and again in April 2014, 40mg per day for seven days leading into the Tour de Romandie.
Both prescriptions were granted to treat EIB (exercise-induced bronchoconstriction), also known as exercise-induced asthma. At both the 2013 Dauphine and the 2014 Romandie, Froome went on to win the general classification.
Froome said he had “no issues” with the leaks, pointing out he has spoken publicly about being granted TUEs before. The 31-year-old told the press this summer that he had used TUEs twice during his career, in 2013 and 2014.
He said in a statement on Thursday: “I’ve openly discussed my TUEs with the media and have no issues with the leak which confirms my statements. In nine years as a professional I’ve twice required a TUE for exacerbated asthma, the last time was in 2014.”
Meanwhile, the three-times Tour de France winner Froome has TUEs for prednisolone, a steroid that can be used to treat chest complaints. In a statement on Thursday, Team Sky, for whom Froome rides, said: “Applications made by Team Sky for TUEs have all been managed and recorded in line with the processes put in place by the governing bodies. Team Sky’s approach to anti-doping – and our commitment to clean competition – are well known.”
British Cycling spokesman also followed suit, saying: “We’re proud of our strong anti-doping culture at British Cycling. As the national governing body for the sport in Britain and a supporter of the Wada code, we condemn the publication of any individual’s medical information without their permission.”
Ongoing Leaks and What's Next?
WADA revealed that hackers had illegally gained access to its anti-doping administration and management system database via an International Olympic Committee-created account for the Rio Games.
WADA director general Olivier Niggli described the leak as a “criminal attack”. He regretted that hackers had attempted to “smear” the reputation of the athletes affected.
Mr Niggli said there was “no doubt” the leaks were being carried out because of investigations into exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia.