Fancy Bears leak names of former Premier League footballers linked with banned substances
Fancy Bears has released documents that claim to reveal footballers who were cleared to use banned medicines during the 2010 World Cup.
In total, 28 players were given Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), which are handed to players to allow them to use a prohibited substance in order to treat a legitimate condition they have. Players must apply to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in order to get a TUE.
Argentina player Carlos Tevez, Germany’s Mario Gomez and Dirk Kuyt, from the Netherlands, were among those named in the leak. There is no suggestion that any of these players have violated any anti-doping rules. Tevez was using betamethasone, a corticosteroid with a variety of uses, including treating rheumatic disorders. Kuyt’s exemption allowed him to use dexamethasone, another corticosteroid used to treat allergies, skin conditions and arthritis. Gomez was allowed to use salbutamol, a medication that alleviates asthma by opening airways in the lungs.
Additional documents show that 160 players failed drug tests in 2016. Four of these tests were registered by UK Anti-Doping. Three anonymous male players tested positive for cocaine and another male player had “methylenedioxymethamphetamine”, also known as ecstasy, in his system. The cocaine tests took place on 18 May 2015 and the ecstasy test took place on 18 August 2015.
The hackers leaked a number of documents too, including an email the FA’s head of integrity, Jenni Kennedy, sent to FIFA’s Alexis Weber, relating to investigations into players from three clubs for possible drug use.
Another document, sent from FIFA’s Greta Pons to Weber, stated: “According to the WADA statistic, football is the sport with the highest number of doping samples with approximately 30,000 samples per year on average.” Alphr has contacted the FA and FIFA for comment.
Fancy Bears released documents in July naming 50 athletes who were suspected of doping by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). One of the athletes was Mo Farah, who returned a sample that needed further testing.
The data showed he was flagged by a hematological expert as “likely doping; Passport suspicious; further data is required” from a test submitted on 23 November 2015. A later document from April 2016 shows that he did not undergo intensive testing in the next two months after the sample was flagged but is then cleared of suspicion as he was then flagged as “Normal”. He was later cleared of suspicion.
A spokesperson for Farah told IT Pro at the time that he has never failed a single blood test during his career. He said: “We have never been informed of any of Mo’s test results being outside of the legal parameters.”
The spokesperson added: “Nor has Mo ever been contacted by the IAAF about any individual result. It is totally incorrect and defamatory to suggest otherwise, and we will pursue any claims to the contrary through all necessary legal routes.”
The spokesperson pointed out that previous leaks from the organisation have included false or doctored documents in the past, and they have asked the IAAF to urgently look into the validity.