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Russian hackers expose doping use in Sweden

DOPING

Russian hackers expose doping use in Sweden

Russian hackers expose doping use in Sweden

MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN

AFP

Hacktivist collective Fancy Bears retrieved and published the results of doping tests in Sweden, which were held by the Swedish Sports Confederation.

The Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) said on Tuesday its computers had been hacked by the Russian hacktivist collective Fancy Bears, who retrieved and published the records of doping tests performed on its athletes.

The leaks confirm that the RF, the organisation which, among other things, is responsible for anti-doping control in Sweden, has turned a blind eye on doping use on several occasions.

RF covering the truth

The records, published on Fancy Bears’ website, show that at least two Swedish athletes were caught using terbutaline, a drug which used to treat asthma symptoms and which helps boost an athlete’s performance.

However, even though both athletes tested positive, apparently neither of them were penalised for it.

‘It's not a secret that Sweden has always held a dominant position in such kinds of sports as cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and biathlon. By a pretty strange coincidence, these disciplines witness an increased number of anti-doping violations,’ the hacktivist collective wrote on its website.

Fancy Bear also published documents that show how RF officials attempted to silence Ake Andren-Sandberg, the chief of Sweden’s anti-doping commission, who publicly confirmed that the state anti-doping authorities were incapable of noticing violators.

High-level hacking

Following the leaks, the RF filed a police report, claiming that the attack was aimed at discrediting its anti-doping activities.

‘This is an extremely serious crime, where the clear purpose was to discredit Sweden’s anti-doping system,’ RF's head, Stefan Bergh, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Back in 2016, Fancy Bears was blamed for stealing and publishing confidential medical information of Olympic athletes.

The Russian collective claims that it stands for ‘fair play and clean sports’ and that it leads the ‘crusade against anti-doping violations and corruption in sport’.

The Russian government has repeatedly denied its involvement in the collective’s actions.

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