Serena Williams and Simone Biles tested positive for banned substances, but doping agents let them of the hook! That's the suggestion of bombshell new medical records released by a Russian hacker group.
Hacking group Tsar Team, also known as Fancy Bear, infiltrated the the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) athlete database and released files that show tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams and teenage Olympian Biles all "received medical exemptions to use banned drugs," according to The New York Times.
The hackers penetrated the database and managed to get hold of records that detailed "Therapeutic Use Exemptions" (TUEs). TUEs permit the using of banned substances due to athletes' "verified medical needs," the BBC reported.
WADA confirmed the breach and said in a statement that the organization "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."
Biles, 19, earned four medals while competing in the 2016 summer Olympics and had "not broken any drug-testing regulations," USA Gymnastics said, according to the BBC.
Travis Tygart, who is currently the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said, "The cyber-bullying of innocent athletes being engaged in by these hackers is cowardly and despicable."
Tygart defended the athletes saying, "In each of the situations, the athlete has done everything right in adhering to the global rules for obtaining permission to use a needed medication."
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WADA condemned the hackers and said the cyber-attacks were an attempt to "undermine WADA and the global anti-doping system."
Could this be Russia's revenge for their infamous Olympic ban earlier this summer?
The country's track and field team, rowing squad, and weightlifters were all barred from the Rio Olympics this after a doping scandal.
"Reports by the World Anti-Doping Agency and by news organizations have detailed a state-run doping scheme that punctured the integrity of the Olympics, seemingly upending many of the results from the 2008 Beijing Games, the 2012 London Games and the 2014 Sochi Games," The New York Times reported in June. Athletes were reportedly given a "three-drug cocktail of banned substances and liquor" as "drug testers were threatened by members of Russia's Federal Security Service."
"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," Niggli said.
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