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Hackers release names of professional footballers who allegedly failed drug tests
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Hackers release names of professional footballers who allegedly failed drug tests

Hackers have reportedly released information on professional footballers who have allegedly failed drug tests registered by UK Anti-Doping (UKad) agency, as well as information about which footballers have been given Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for otherwise banned medications during the 2010 World Cup.

Famous names include ex-Premier League players Carlos Tevez, Dirk Kuyt and Gabriel Heinze.

Another 21 professional footballers were named as having TUEs.

The leaked information

The leaked information listed the medicines footballers are using and for what purpose. Tevez, Heinze and Juan Sebastian Veron were reportedly prescribed betamethasone; a corticosteroid used to treat skin problems like eczema and local psoriasis. Kuyt was reportedly prescribed dexamethasone – a pain relief for tooth pain – and Mario Gomez was apparently given salbutamol for asthma.

Footballers can only receive TUEs through a strict application process requiring proof that without the medicine, they would suffer significant health problems yet taking it won’t significantly enhance their performance on the field.

The hackers

Russian hackers are reportedly responsible, and it’s apparently the same ones who hacked the World Anti-Doping Agency database last year and started releasing information on U.S. Olympic athletes in September 2016.

Simone Biles was among several athletes whose confidential medical data was unlawfully released. Biles spoke out to justify taking medicine for her Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

While these athletes have declared their drug use to the necessary authorities, having such sensitive information released to the public may still cause undue backlash and adversely affect celebrities in the sporting world.

In this occasion, hackers also released a hacked email sent from the Football Association’s head of integrity, Jenni Kennedy, to the Federation Internationale de Football Association who governs the global rules on the major sport. The FA stated they were “disappointed that strictly confidential information has been released into the public domain”, especially as investigations into the TUE hack were still ongoing. The association also assured that whenever violations are uncovered, full details are released on its website and are readily available for the public to view.

The FA condemned “in the strongest terms” the release of the stolen information. Stating that:

“The release of such information constitutes a clear violation of the athletes’ privacy and puts at risk the ongoing fight against doping.”

The fallout

Chief Executive of UKad emphasised his disapproval of the leaked information and the impact it will have on the battle against doping:

“…the theft of medical data is completely unacceptable and this leak does not advance the cause of the anti-doping community at all.”

Hackers defended their actions as providing proof that governing bodies in sports are “lying” when they “unanimously affirm” that the most popular sport in the world is free of doping.

Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/football-duel-ball-footballers-1350775/

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