The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suffered “daily” cyber attacks and harassment from Russia, WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said Thursday in an interview with Norway’s NRK news website.
“We have experienced hacking attempts every day for three weeks.
It happens all the time and is very annoying,” Niggli said.
WADA has a “pretty good suspicion” that Russians are
responsible, Niggli said, adding that the hackers involved are “well
known to Western authorities.”
But Russia’s targeting of WADA extends beyond hacking.
“Russia is threatening us and our informers” he said. The
attacks include bugging homes and stealing personal property.
According to Niggli, constructive relations with Russian
authorities can only be achieved once Russia “stops seeing us as an
enemy and recognizes it has a problem which needs to be solved
Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, whose testimony to WADA was
a key element of its report into Russian doping, said in August that
she feared for her life after WADA announced hackers had broken into
her personal WADA online account.
Stepanova, in hiding with her family in the United States, claimed
the hack was was motivated by a desire to discover her exact
location. She has subsequently changed locations, she told
journalists during a conference call. “If something happens to us
then you should know it is not an accident.”
Over 100 Russian
athletes were banned from competing at this summer’s Olympic Games
following WADA's investigations into state-sponsored doping
throughout Russian sport.