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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Simone Biles defends taking ADHD medication after Russian hackers leak files

Simone Biles

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles released a statement on Tuesday defending herself over the medication she takes after Russian hackers managed to leak confidential files.

The hackers, who are calling themselves “Fancy Bears,” released confidential information from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) that compromised the privacy of Biles and Serena Williams, among other athletes. According to the BBC, the group accused Biles of taking an “illicit psycho-stimulant.” USA Gymnastics condemned the hack and released a statement saying Biles had obtained permission to use a prescription medication. Biles later revealed on Twitter that she has been diagnosed with ADHD.

There has been speculation that the hacking group compromised Wada’s security as revenge for Russia’s track and field team being banned from the Rio Olympics over an alleged doping program that was funded by the state. All Russian athletes have also been banned from competing in the Paralympics.

Biles, like many athletes, has a “Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)” for taking prescription medication. Fancy Bears referred to TUEs as “licenses for doping” and alleged that Williams has been given permission to use anti-inflammatory medications that give her an advantage.

While Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it is “out of the question” that Russian officials had anything to do with the hacking, Wada said the breach strains its relationship with Russia even further.

“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,” Wada director-general Olivier Niggli said.

TUEs have aways been a controversial topic in sports, and we have even seen that with some of the biggest stars in Major League Baseball. It’s unfortunate that Biles had to reveal personal information like that to defend herself.

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