Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
26 Sep 2016
5:07 pm

Van der Burgh cleared to take banned substance – Fancy Bears

Wesley Botton

The former 100m breaststroke world record holder was among the latest group of athletes listed on the Fancy Bears website at the weekend.

Olympic swimming star Cameron van der Burgh is the first South African sportsman to have personal medical documents released online by hacking group Fancy Bears, which claims he received a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to take a prohibited substance three years ago.

The former 100m breaststroke world record holder and double Olympic medallist was among the latest group of athletes listed on the Fancy Bears website at the weekend. The site published a document, dated June 2013, which was alleged to be a TUE certificate for the banned substance salbutamol, used to treat asthma.

Inhaled salbutamol had since been removed from the prohibited list. According to the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids), the information had been hacked from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) administration management system.

“The (TUE) process is designed to ensure that the requirement is genuine and that, in the prevailing circumstances, the substance does not afford the athlete an unfair advantage but rather addresses a medical condition,” the local anti-doping body said in a statement yesterday.

Among other athletes targeted by the Fancy Bears hacking group were British cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, and tennis players Serena Williams of the United States and Rafael Nadal of Spain.