Hackers Fancy Bears have released a list of failed drug tests by footballers from 2015 and 2016. They have also leaked the names of 25 players who received legal TUEs before the 2010 World Cup, including four Germans.
Christian Träsch, Mario Gomez, Hans-Jörg Butt and Dennis Aogo were part of a list of 25 players who Fancy Bears have claimed were given Theraputic Use Exceptions (TUE ) before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The German players were listed as having received TUEs for Salbutamol, a drug that can treat asthma symptoms and can be found in inhalers, as well as other asthma-related corticosteroids. Other players, including former Inter Milan and Argentina forward Diego Milito and former Bundesliga player Karim Matmour, were also listed as users.
A TUE is perfectly legal. It is an exemption that allows athletes to use medicines that appear on the World Anti Doping Agency's (WADA) banned substance list. These TUEs are allowed under the rules of WADA and there is no suggestion the players did anything wrong.
The Russian hacking group also released a list of failed drug tests by footballers from 2015 and 2016 from various anti-doping labs around the world, including in Dresden and Cologne. Some of the positive tests included stimulants such as cocaine and ecstasy. Email cache between FIFA staff and doping officials was also part of the leak.
Neither the doping records nor the TUE list have been verified.
Media reports say Fancy Bears are a state-sponsored hacking group in Russia. The governing body of global athletics (IAAF) has said the hacking group was responsible for the release of athlete medical records earlier this year. They have also been accused of meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election
FIFA condemns the leaks
In response to the Fancy Bear leaks, FIFA released a statement Wednesday condemning the Russian hacking group.
"FIFA condemns in the strongest terms the publication by the Fancy Bears group of information obtained illegally, particularly personal and medical data from athletes," the statement read.
"The release of such information constitutes a clear violation of the athletes' privacy and puts at risk the ongoing fight against doping.
"All potential violations of the anti-doping regulations are handled by FIFA in accordance with WADA regulations. We have no further comment at this stage."