Mo Farah has little fear over leaked data

LONDON • Mo Farah, the double gold medallist at the 2016 Olympics, is not overly worried over the release of confidential medical data as one of the 53 British athletes to compete in Rio who previously held a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for a banned substance.

The Fancy Bears hacking group has already released details of five of the 366-strong British contingent who competed in Rio, including the cycling Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins.

Farah said last year, amid the uproar surrounding his coach Alberto Salazar in the wake of allegations in a BBC Panorama documentary over his methods, that he had only ever had one TUE.

It was given to him in 2014 after he collapsed in the bathroom of his apartment in Park City, Utah, following a training run at altitude.

Farah fell and hit his head, before being placed on a morphine drip, amid unfounded fears he had suffered a heart attack, and airlifted to hospital in Salt Lake City.

"Yes I've had one TUE and that was in Park City, I collapsed on the floor, was taken in an ambulance and put on a drip. That was the only one," the 33-year-old said last year ahead of a Birmingham Diamond League meeting from which he ultimately withdrew.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Farah and a spokesman for the athlete said he did not have any current or ongoing TUE. She added that he was unconcerned about anything that may emerge from the Fancy Bears hack, which has been blamed by the World Anti-Doping Agency on Russians seeking retribution over revelations of state-sponsored doping in the country.

She said: "Mo does not have a current or ongoing TUE but, like everyone in Team GB, he was notified about the potential release of private medical data. While he believes this sort of information shouldn't be published without an individual's permission, he isn't concerned about anything they might release about him."

UK Anti-Doping has said it will not speculate on the identities of those likely to be affected by the leak but has confirmed that those affected were either on TUEs when they competed in Rio or had previously been granted them.

The TUE system allows athletes to take banned substances for bona fide medical reasons and still compete. But the Fancy Bears revelations have highlighted the ongoing debate around the transparency of the TUE system.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Mo Farah has little fear over leaked data'. Print Edition | Subscribe