The Associated PressBUENOS AIRES (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency has registered 400 cases after a flood of information from new whistleblowers, and added on Friday it supports a U.S. assessment that a 2016 hack of the agency was perpetrated by the Russian state.
The head of WADA’s investigations unit, Guenter Younger, said the agency has been approached by numerous whistleblowers in the wake of Russian doping scandals sparked by insiders revealing widespread doping and cover-ups.
Younger said he was “overwhelmed” with information after WADA opened a whistleblower hotline in March 2017. “More and more whistleblowers come and they say, ‘Now we are happy that we have someone that we can talk to,’” said Younger, a German policeman who investigated Russian doping cases for WADA and later took charge of its investigation unit permanently. “I thought perhaps a few, but we have so many. We have 400 cases registered.”
Younger said the whistleblowers include “many” Russians, adding, “It was the Russians that took their system down and we as well need to acknowledge that and help them as well, that they can come back as clean athletes.”
Younger said despite the hack of WADA in 2016, its systems were secure. Separately, WADA spokesperson James Fitzgerald said the agency backed the assessment in a U.S. indictment unsealed on Thursday that hackers working for the Russian state military intelligence agency targeted WADA and accessed athletes’ medical records.