Legendary American tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams had a special therapeutic permission to take drugs banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and didn’t violate anti-doping regulations, International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty has said.
Anonymous hackers from Fancybear.net web portal announced on Tuesday that they have hacked the database of WADA’s ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System) and leaked documents proving that the doping agency allowed Serena and Venus as well as US four-time Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles and compatriot women’s basketball player Elena Dolle Donne to take banned performance-enhancing drugs, reports Tass.
ITF President David Haggerty said on Wednesday that the global tennis federation was deeply concerned with the fact of illegal access to the database, which contained personal medical information of international athletes.
"We are disappointed and concerned that sensitive medical information relating to tennis players has been obtained and published without permission, and that unjustified conclusions have been drawn from Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificates," Haggerty said.
"All Therapeutic Use Exemption applications under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme are considered in accordance with the WADA International Standard for TUEs, and include anonymous review by an independent TUE Committee," he added.
"As such, all TUEs granted under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme are for the legitimate therapeutic use of medications and are in no way indicative of doping or a breach of the anti-doping rules."
According to the leaked information posted on the Fancybear.net, Serena was taking oxycodone and hydromorphone (opioids), prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone. Her sister Venus was allegedly taking prednisone, prednisolone, triamcinolone and formoterol. All mentioned drugs are on WADA’s list of banned substances.
In its official statement regarding the cyber-attack on ADAMS, WADA announced on Tuesday night that Russia was behind the hacker attack on its database.
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli called the cyber-attack a criminal act on behalf of Russia saying that "WADA has been informed by law enforcement authorities that these attacks are originating out of Russia".