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WADA Suffers Daily Harassment From Russian Hackers – Director General Niggli

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 jointly.”

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.

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