Fancy Bears Strike Again: Hackers Expose Doping Use in Sweden

© Sputnik / Alexey Malgavko / Go to the mediabankThe Fancy Bears website
The Fancy Bears website - Sputnik International
A hacktivist collective that previously exposed US athletes using banned substances with WADA’s blessing has now set its sights on a Swedish sports organization which allegedly tried to cover up doping use in its home country.

The Fancy Bears hacker group has published a number of documents obtained from the Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) which allegedly confirm that the organization which, among other things, is responsible for anti-doping control in Sweden has effectively turned a blind eye on doping use at least on several occasions.

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The documents which were published on the group’s website show that at least two Swedish athletes, Bjorn Sandstrom and Maria Nilsson, were caught using terbutaline – a drug which is used to treat asthma symptoms and which also helps boost an athlete’s performance.

However, even though the athletes’ infraction was exposed, apparently neither of them was penalized for it, the hackers point out.

Other documents published by Fancy Bears show how RF officials attempted to "shut up" Ake Andren-Sandberg, the chief of Sweden’s anti-doping commission who publicly confirmed that the state anti-doping authorities were unable to detect violators "despite the huge resources they had."

​"By the way, Norway took four times more inhalators than Sweden to the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang and won almost three times more medals than Sweden. Is it the secret to the Norwegian success? The answer is obvious," the hackers remarked.

While skiers are allowed to use drugs to treat their ailment, these very drugs also boost athletes’ performance thus potentially giving them an edge over their non-asthmatic competitors without technically violating the anti-doping regulations.

READ MORE: Asthma Alert' Report Raises Questions About Nordic Olympic Prowess

Earlier in February, Swedish national broadcaster SVT revealed that over 60 percent of athletes on the Swedish and Norwegian skiing teams allegedly had asthma, which is six times higher than the corresponding figure for the general population; and that over a half of the Olympic medals won by Norway since 1992 and nearly a half of medals won by Sweden during the same time period were awarded to athletes who claim to have asthma.

The Fancy Bears hacker collective is best known for its attack on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which resulted in a leakage of documents proving that a number of prominent athletes such as tennis players Rafael Nadal, Venus and Serena Williams, as well as artistic gymnast Simone Biles, used banned drugs under the Therapeutic Use Exemptions program.

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