Team GB cyclist Chris Froome defends the use of TUEs amid medical record leaks

The 31-year-old said he has used TUEs twice during his career, in 2013 and 2014

Chris Froome

Image: David Davies / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tour de France champion and Olympic bronze medallist Chris Froome has defended his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) following the release of classified medical records by hacker group Fancy Bears.

The group had promised that it would be releasing information about athletes after gaining access to the World Anti-Doping Agency's database.

"I’ve openly discussed my TUEs with the media and have no issues with the leak which confirms my statements," he said in a statement today. "In nine years as a professional I’ve twice required a TUE for exacerbated asthma, the last time was in 2014." 

The other previous year he refers to is 2013. Froome was granted permission to take the banned steroid prednisolone. Prednisolone steroid that can be used for chest complaints.

Also named in the leak is another Team GB cyclist, Bradley Wiggins. 

The leak shows appears to show that Wiggins was allowed to take two banned substances, including a drug for a pollen allergy, during competitions between 2008 and 2013. 

The latest leaks suggest that Wiggins, who has never made any secret of the fact he suffers from asthma, has a number of TUEs for salbutamol, a substance commonly used in an inhaler.

"Fancy Bear [aka Tsar Team (APT28)] have leaked another batch of confidential athlete data from Wada's Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS)," Wada said in a statement following the latest leak of information. 

"Similar to the leak that the Agency announced on 13 September, this time the group released the confidential athlete data of 25 athletes, from eight countries, into the public domain.

"The targeted athletes include 10 from the United States, five from Germany, five from Great Britain, one from the Czech Republic, one from Denmark, one from Poland, one from Romania, and one from Russia."

Wada director general Olivier Niggli said: "Wada is very mindful that this criminal attack, which to date has recklessly exposed personal data of 29 athletes, will be very distressing for the athletes targeted and cause apprehension for all athletes that were involved in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"To those athletes that have been impacted, we regret that criminals have attempted to smear your reputations in this way and assure you that we are receiving intelligence and advice from the highest level law enforcement and IT security agencies that we are putting into action.

"Given this intelligence and advice, Wada has no doubt that these ongoing attacks are being carried out in retaliation against the Agency, and the global anti-doping system, because of our independent (Dick) Pound and (Richard) McLaren investigations that exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia.

"We condemn this criminal activity and have asked the Russian government to do everything in their power to make it stop.

"Continued cyber-attacks emanating from Russia seriously undermine the work that is being carried out to rebuild a compliant anti-doping programme in Russia.

"We still believe access to ADAMS was obtained through spear phishing of email accounts, whereby, ADAMS passwords were obtained enabling access to ADAMS account information confined to the Rio 2016 Games.

"We have no reason to believe that other ADAMS data has been compromised."