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Published: Mon, August 15, 2016
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Hackers target World Anti-Doping Agency, sports court


Russian athlete Yulia Stepanova said her e-mail and the account, with which she reports her location to WADA, were hacked, ESPN reported on Saturday.

It said the password for the administration system that contains her testing history and "whereabouts" information had been "illegally obtained" and her account accessed by a third party.

Stepanova, praised by the worldwide athletics body (IAAF) for her courage in stepping forward and revealing details on widespread doping in Russian Federation, is still an active athlete and had attempted to compete in Rio.

Stepanova, an 800-meter runner, blew the whistle in 2014 on widespread, state-sponsored doping practices in Russian athletics.

WADA said it learned "this week", during the Olympics, that it had been targeted, though it was not immediately clear when the attacks took place. They then moved to the United States with their young son.

The attempts were made via phishing emails sent to database users. "A subsequent investigation by WADA allowed the agency to determine that no other athlete accounts on ADAMS have been accessed".

"WADA immediately locked Ms Stepanova's account to prevent further access and notified her of the situation", it added. "We have it all year round anyway but it's particularly intense at the moment". But when the International Olympic Committee blocked her involvement she said she would not appeal the decision, which was heavily criticised by anti-doping organisations.

"In our current location we do feel safe, but unfortunately the reaction to our actions in our home country is not positive, a lot of people in general and athletes as well hate us for what we did and we would not go back to Russian Federation right now". Stepanova had received a two-year ban in 2013 for blood passport abnormalities.

As a result Russia's track and field team has been banned from the Rio Olympics while all Russian competitors in other sports had to prove they were clean by meeting several criteria in order to be eligible to compete in Brazil.

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