Russian hackers target American Olympic athletes

Note: Originally published on Sept. 24.

Russian hackers have acquired and posted the private drug-testing files of four U.S. athletes from the 2016 Olympic, including gymnastics champion Simone Biles.

The World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed on Sept. 13 that a group of hackers known as Fancy Bear illegally hacked its database of medical files of athletes from the Olympic games in Rio, but has not confirmed whether the files posted by the group were authentic.

Russian athletes were banned from the Rio Olympics and Paralympics after the discovery of widespread doping among the Russian team during drug tests by WADA.

The hackers said they were going public with the information gathered on the athletes, blaming their successes on illegal doping.

Champion gymnast Simone Biles was one of the athletes targeted by Russian hackers during a recent cyber attack against the ---- (Photo courtesy of Jan de Koning)

Champion gymnast Simone Biles was one of the athletes targeted by Russian hackers during a recent cyber attack against the World AntiDoping Agency. (Photo courtesy of Jan de Koning)

The website alleges that Biles tested positive in August 2016 after methylphenidate was detected in her tests. The drug is sold under various names, including Ritalin, and is commonly used as a treatment for ADHD.

In addition, the website accuses Serena Williams of using painkillers and anti-inflammatories, but there has been no indication that this is accurate.

Biles responded to the attacks on Twitter:

“I have ADHD and have taken medicine for it since I was a kid. Please know, I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me.”

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said in a statement to NBC News that WADA is taking the hacks very seriously and cooperating with all law enforcement agencies.

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Scott Harvin is a sophomore Communication major with a minor in International Studies in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. Originally from Sumter, South Carolina, he is thrilled to be able to call the wonderful city of Charleston his new home, where he cannot wait to watch the next three years of his life unfold. Other than his academic career at the College, Scott is also a Resident Assistant in McAlister Residence Hall, a tour guide for Charleston 40, a member of the Student Ambassador Program and a News Contributor for CisternYard News. All of this can only mean two things: first, he knows pretty much anything anyone could ever want to know about the College and second, he never sleeps. Despite this, he still finds time to explore his passions for music, photography and adventure, collecting vinyl records while traveling the southeast with close companions to root out the best experiences, restaurants and events the world has to offer. He does all of this while pursuing his ultimate dream: becoming a journalist for a major news branch, preferably in New York, where he hopes to live out the American Dream. “You may call him a dreamer, but he’s not the only one.”

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