Doping: Venus Williams disappointed over hacking of medical records in Wada database

Venus Williams cools off between points against Julia Goerges during their 2016 US Open second round Women's Singles match.
Venus Williams cools off between points against Julia Goerges during their 2016 US Open second round Women's Singles match. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Venus Williams voiced dismay on Tuesday after Russian hackers who broke into the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) database released details of her confidential medical records.

The veteran tennis superstar was one of four US athletes targeted by Russian hacking group Fancy Bears in a cyber-attack that has been widely criticised.

Sister Serena Williams, US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and women's basketball player Elena Delle Donne also saw their records published by the group.

"I was disappointed to learn today that my private, medical data has been compromised by hackers and published without my permission," Venus said in a statement.

 
 

The released records detailed examples of where she had applied for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) which allowed her to use certain medications banned by Wada.

The use of exemptions is standard practice in the sports world and is not regarded as a doping offence.

"The applications for TUEs under the Tennis Anti-Doping programme require a strict process for approval which I have adhered to when serious medical conditions have occurred," Venus said.

"I am one of the strongest supporters of maintaining the highest level of integrity in competitive sport and I have been highly disciplined in following the guidelines set by Wada, Usada (US Anti-Doping Agency), the ITF (International Tennis Federation) and collectively the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme."