Press release: Danish swimmer’s medical data leaked

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Anti-Doping Denmark has received confirmation from WADA that Pernille Blume’s medical data has been leaked in connection with the hacking of WADA’s database.

Anti Doping Denmark (ADD) and the Danish Swimming Federation has been informed by the world anti-doping Agency WADA, that Danish swimmer Pernille Blume’s medical data in WADA’s database ADAMS has been compromised by, according to WADA, a group of Russian hackers who gained access to the system.

The news has been received with dismay in the Danish Swimming Federation, who look upon this case very seriously.

– It is deeply shocking to hear that it has been possible for attackers to force access to such private information, as is the case here. It is a serious crime and I really hope that there will great efforts, partly to get hold of the people who are behind this and partly to ensure that in the future these databases will be, if possible, even harder to hack into, says the Danish Swimming Federation’s Director, Pia Holmen, who also wants to stress swimmer Pernille Blume’s innocence.

– I have to say that Pernille Blume has complete control of her medication and on the formal documents that require approval at any time when you are an athlete at this level. This just makes it even more unfortunate that she should now be dragged into this matter. I cannot stress enough how innocent Pernille is, and how much I hope that the outside world will take this news to heart, concludes Pia Holmen.

At Anti Doping Denmark they are looking at the matter with equal seriousness and have no doubt that the swimmer is merely a pawn in a political game:

– It is absolutely inexcusable that the hackers have used not only tactless, but also illegal methods to gain access to this data. There seems to be people from the outside who consciously want to undermine the system that we, as the anti-doping organisations and, above all, the athletes must be able to totally rely on, says Michael Ask, Director of ADD, and continues:

– It is important to underline that Pernille Blume is completely innocent and she has acted completely by the book by applying for an exemption for the medication that she has an illness-related need for. I am very sorry that she has to go through this, where she has openly become a pawn in a larger international game, in which powers in Russia appear to be trying to shift the focus from the documented systematic circumvention of the anti-doping rules that have taken place in Russia.

For the athlete in the centre of the case, Pernille Blume, it has been a shocking experience to have sensitive personal data leaked.

– I think it is shocking that it has been possible for some people to hack into a system that full of very personal information. It should not be possible.

For 22-year-old Pernille Blume, it is a leak that is causing concern in relation to her reputation:

– There are, of course, many headlines being written about it right now. Some of them just mention my name and something about doping, and I know very well that what we typically remember from media coverage, is just the headlines and then the rest does not matter. Of course, I am both worried and upset by it. I distance myself from doping and I really do not hope that some people might be left in doubt about it, says Pernille Blume in closing.

According to WADA, a total of 29 athletes from eight countries over the past two days have had medical data from ADAMS published. Pernille Blume is currently the only athlete that Anti-Doping Denmark has been informed of, whose data has been compromised. ADD is following the ongoing situation.

WADA is responsible for the ADAMS data system, which, among others, athletes, national anti-doping organisations and specialised International Federations register data related to, among other things, doping control, whereabouts and, not least, the medical exemptions, TUE. According to WADA’s recent press release, the leak happened through an account of the International Olympic Committee, which has been setup up for the games in Rio.

About TUE

The medical information that the hackers have gained access to is the so-called TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption). TUE is an exemption for medication that is on the doping list, but which athletes need to take due to a specific illness, condition or injury that requires medical treatment.

Applications for TUE from athletes are assessed continuously by doctors, and it does not mean that an athlete who has a TUE has violated the rules. On the contrary, these athletes have disclosed their need to take medication and have followed the rules there are to apply for permission. In the assessment of the possibility of an exemption (TUE), an assessment is also included of the competitive advantage from taking a given preparation, so that it does not give the athlete an additional competitive advantage.

Press release from the Danish Swimming Federation

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, part-time coach. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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