WOA Condemns Data Leaks and Calls for Reform

WOA Condemns Data Leaks and Calls for Reform

By Amelia Fisher-Starzynski, Monaco, Sept 22, 2016: WOA Condemns, World Olympians Association (WOA) has today condemned the actions of Russian cyber hacking group Fancy Bears and the public release of athletes’ confidential medical information.

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WOA believes that by illegally disclosing the private Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) records of athletes held on WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management system the hacking group is seeking to intentionally tarnish the reputation of clean athletes.

WADA has confirmed that none of the athletes in question have been found guilty of any doping infractions; the application and approval of the TUEs were made in line with strict anti-doping regulations and based on rigorous medical standards.

WOA takes the protection of clean athletes very seriously and believes these leaks should be condemned but that reform is needed to strengthen the fight against doping.

WOA President Joël Bouzou said today:

“WOA firmly believes in the need for transparency in the battle to protect sport from corruption. However, this illegal release of athletes’ private medical information is clearly designed to undermine the work of international federations and anti-doping bodies and damage the reputation of clean athletes. It cannot be right that clean athletes are seeing their good record unfairly questioned by innuendo.

“WOA wholeheartedly supports the need to sanction those who have been found guilty of doping infractions but athletes that can prove with certainty they are clean, by means of thorough and independent testing and through the proper use of TUEs, should not be punished or called into question. And clean athletes should never be prevented from competing at sporting events from the Olympics and Paralympics on down.

“These latest developments are a reminder that the time is right for a debate on the future and that changes are needed in the anti-doping system which, in our view, is failing clean athletes.

“WOA supports a three-point reform plan based on:

• anti-doping testing that is fully independent of countries, sports and event organizers;
• a permanent mechanism to allow clean athletes to compete even if their country/sport is sanctioned; and
• dramatically increased funding for research into improved anti-doping testing.

“WOA is committed to working with the relevant international bodies to help improve the fight against doping and ensure that the rights of individuals who have done no wrong are protected.”
For more information on WOA’s proposed three-point plan, please click here.

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