The The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed today that its Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) database was accessed by Russian cyber-hackers Tsar Team (APT28), also known as Fancy Bear.
The hack was made through an account created by the International Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games in Rio. The hackers were able to view athlete data, including confidential medical data such as Therapeutic Use Exemptions. WADA stated that the hack was confined to Olympic Games athletes and no other ADAMS data is believed to have been compromised.
The hackers released TUE information for tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, and gymnast Simone Biles, and have threatened to release more information. So far, no information has been leaked about any cyclists.
"WADA deeply regrets this situation and is very conscious of the threat that it represents to athletes whose confidential information has been divulged through this criminal act," said Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA. "We are reaching out to stakeholders, such as the IOC, IFs and NADOs, regarding the specific athletes impacted.
"WADA condemns these ongoing cyber-attacks that are being carried out in an attempt to undermine WADA and the global anti-doping system. WADA has been informed by law enforcement authorities that these attacks are originating out of Russia," he continued. "Let it be known that these criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia further to the outcomes of the Agency's independent McLaren Investigation Report."
The McLaren report brought to light a state-sponsored doping scheme whereby athletes were either warned about upcoming tests, or had positive tests covered up.
WADA says it is beefing up its internal and external security checks and "taking the necessary measures to ensure that stakeholders securely manage ADAMS passwords and its usage".
Sebastien Chavanel retires
Sebastien Chavanel will call an end to his professional cycling career after failing to renew with FDJ or find a new team. The 35-year-old Frenchman said on Twitter today that he hoped to continue in cycling in a new role.
"It is not an end but a beginning. Thank you to all who have given me during my career," Chavanel wrote, listing off FDJ, his Vendee U amateur team and coach Michele Bartoli.
"I'm not bitter," Chavanel said to La Nouvelle Republique. "I went to see Marc Madiot, and he told me that he did not wish to keep me. This isn't a question of level but he wanted to add more young riders. At my age, it's a decision I understand in principle, riders are judged on their physique. One must accept these things."
Chavanel began his pro career with Brioches La Boulangère and remained with Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's team through 2006 before switching to FDJ. He raced four years before returning with Bernaudeau in Team Europcar for three seasons and then bouncing back to Marc Madiot's team in 2014 where he was Nacer Bouhanni's lead-out man for his triple stage wins in the Giro d'Italia and overall points classification victory.
Chavanel hopes to find a job as a directeur sportif or a coach in the future. "I have a certificate to coach, I speak English and Italian," he said. "I can bring my experience in the sprint."
Adrien Costa returns to racing with Etixx-Quick-Step at Grand Prix de Wallonie
Adrien Costa will pick up where he left off in the Tour of Britain, racing with Etixx-Quickstep at the Grand Prix de Wallonie on Wednesday. The American crashed out of the Tour of Britain and had to have stitches to close wounds on his arms. He will line up with sprinters Fernando Gaviria and Davide Martinelli, and Julien Vermote, Petr Vakoc, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Rodrigo Contreras, and another trainee, Ivan Garcia Cortina.
The 202km GP de Wallonie ends with the decisive climb to the Citadelle in Namur, a 2km cobbled ascent that ramps up to 8 per cent.
"The race will come to life in the last 25 kilometers, once the peloton will take on Côte de Lustin, which isn't long, but can really shake up things," said sport director Geert Van Bondt. "From that point on, there's only two climbs left, Tienne aux Pierres and the Citadelle de Namur, which will see a reduced bunch tackle it. Our team for the race is a young one, but we are confident that we can get a nice result."
Etixx-Quickstep for the Grand Prix de Wallonie: Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon, Adrien Costa, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Fernando Gaviria Rendon, Davide Martin, Petr Vakoc, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, and Julien Vermote.
Giant-Alpecin renews with Ten Dam, Curvers
Team Giant-Alpecin announced today the renewal of contracts with Dutch riders Roy Curvers and Laurens ten Dam for one more year.
Curvers, 36, has been with the team since its inception as Skil-Shimano in 2008, and is the team's road captain. "He's a great person and a superb athlete, who breathes our philosophy," coach Rudi Kemna said. "Since the beginning he has been one of our core members, and his experience and route knowledge is critical in both the classics and Grand Tours. For the upcoming season he will continue to be one of our main road captains who will guide the young guys in the team."
Ten Dam, 35, raced much of his career with Rabobank and its more recent incarnations Belkin and LottoNl-Jumbo before joining Giant-Alpecin this year. He flirted briefly with retirement but decided to keep going another year.
"During the Tour I realized I wanted to continue racing. I felt the youngsters could still benefit from my legs and my experience. I am really motivated to work with my teammates and staff for another challenging season. The signing of Wilco [Kelderman] has also given me motivation to continue and we have got a stellar GC team next year and I hope to play a big role in it," Ten Dam said.
Ten Dam kept his form fresh by spending a long spell training and racing in California early in the season, and plans to repeat the schedule next season.
"This year we saw that spending part of the season in the US can be combined successfully with a steady road season in Europe, and that will be the plan for next season, too," Kemna said. "He'll continue to be important to support our young GC guys in the stage races and Grand Tours. On top of that, we saw at the Tour of California that he is able to compete for a top ten place in the shorter stage races, which is an achievable objective for the next season, too."
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