Tour de France champion Chris Froome has defended his use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions following the release of medical data by Russian hackers who managed to access the World Anti-Doping Agency’s database.
Froome is one of five Team GB athletes from the Rio Olympics whose medical records have been by the Fancy Bears hacking group, with his former Team Sky colleague and fellow Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins among the others.
So far, the hackers, who accessed WADA’s database with an International Olympic Committee- accredited login, have published data relating to 29 athletes who competed at Rio including tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and the American gymnast Simone Biles.
In a statement reported on Yahoo Sports, Froome said: "I've openly discussed my TUEs with the media and have no issues with the leak which confirms my statements.”
According to the data published by the hackers, Froome received TUEs for the drug prednisolone, used to treat various inflammatory and autoimmune conditions including acute asthma attacks, at the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné and the following year’s Tour de Romandie.
Froome added: "In nine years as a professional I've twice required a TUE for exacerbated asthma, the last time was in 2014."
Team Sky, in a statement reported by BBC Sport, said any applications for TUEs by it were have "all been managed and recorded in line with the processes put in place by the governing bodies."
Meanwhile, British Cycling (BC) said that "as the national governing body for the sport in Britain and a supporter of the Wada code, we condemn the publication of any individual's medical information without their permission."
A statement issued on behalf of Wiggins said: "There's nothing new here. Everyone knows Brad suffers from asthma; his medical treatment is BC and UCI approved and like all Team GB athletes he follows WADA regulations to the letter."
"The leak of theses records is an attempt to undermine the credibility of WADA and that's something for them to deal with."
Besides Froome and Wiggins, the other British athletes whose details have been published are rugby sevens player Heather Fisher, golfer Charley Hull and rower Sam Townsend.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) emphasised that TUEs were given only based on “medical need” and were “not an indication of doping.”
Referring to the data leak, the agency said it “strongly condemns actions of this nature and we are appalled that five members of Team GB have had their private data published illegally online.
"Not only does it undermine our work and the protection of clean sport, but it is grossly unfair to the athletes, whose personal data has been put at risk.
"It is important to note that in the UK, applications for Therapeutic Use Exemptions, TUEs, are subject to a strict and independent process,” UKAD continued.
“Applications submitted to UKAD are assessed by at least three independent medics and are then referred to WADA, which has further independent oversight of applications.
"This robust process is in place to ensure that TUEs are granted based solely on medical need – they are not an indication of doping.
"They are there to support the clean athlete's right to compete, despite a medical condition," it added.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.