FILE GERMANY ATHLETICS STEPANOVA.jpg
A file photograph showing doping key witness and whistleblower Yulia Stepanova in the Rudolf-Harbig-Halle in Berlin, Germany, 01 February 2015.
Photograph: EPA/PAUL ZINKEN

Someone has illegally accessed the user account of in-hiding Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Saturday - an intrusion that could tip off her location to the hacker.

The 800-metre runner Stepanova and her husband Vitaly Stepanov, a former member of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, were key witnesses in a German television documentary from December 2014 which for the first time exposed wide-ranging doping practices in Russia.

The allegations led to the suspension of the Russian athletics federation from the August 5-21 Olympics in Rio.

Stepanova, 30, now lives at an undisclosed location in the United States. Information about that location is likely to be contained in her account in the WADA anti-doping administration and management system (ADAMS).

The agency did not give information about what details in Stepanova's account were consulted. It said in a statement that her password for the system was "illegally obtained" and someone other than Stepanova "accessed her account."

"WADA immediately locked Ms Stepanova's account to prevent further access and notified her of the situation," it added. "A subsequent investigation by WADA allowed the agency to determine that no other athlete accounts on ADAMS have been accessed."

Stepanova was barred from competing in Rio by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because she was found not to meet "ethical requirements," having been a part of the Russian doping system for several years and sanctioned for doping herself.

The decision came despite the fact that the ruling athletics body IAAF had granted her permission to run as a neutral athlete at events including Rio, owing to her "truly exceptional contribution to the fight against doping in sport."

The IOC considered a ban of all Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics based on the state-sponsored doping allegations, but decided against it, leaving the final decisions with the international sports federations. Some 270 Russians are competing in Rio.

WADA also said Saturday that its website had been hacked and that some users received e-mails appearing to come from the agency asking them to provide their personal credentials. It did not specifically say whether this is how Stepanova's account was accessed.

"Unfortunately, like many organisations, WADA is not immune to attempted cyber-attacks. Stakeholders can rest assured that the agency takes IT security and data privacy very seriously," it said, adding that law enforcement authorities had been contacted.

Related stories

Latest news

Thousands of Romanians revive anti-government protests

Thousands of Romanians turned out on Sunday to renew their demands for the government to step down amid accusations it is trying to protect corrupt politicians.

Francis, first pope to visit Anglicans in Rome, weighs S Sudan trip

Pope Francis became the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Anglican community in Rome on Sunday, where he said he was considering a trip to famine-struck South Sudan.

Ibrahimovic lifts Man United past Southampton in League Cup final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th-minute winner as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in an exciting League Cup final on Sunday.

London screens Iranian director's film amid Oscars boycott

Thousands of people watched a free screeening of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's film "The Salesman" in London on Sunday to coincide with the Oscars.

Real Madrid stage comeback to stay top; Messi scores in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday to move top of the Spanish first division.

Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel member of The Leading Hotels of the World

The Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel has joined the Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., a global hospitality consortium of more than 375 hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.

Biggest Bosnian Serb party ceases all contact with Izetbegovic over ICJ judjment review request

The main committee of the biggest Bosnian Serb party which makes up the ruling majority in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided o Sunday that its officials would cease all contact with member of the Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegovic until the crisis occurred following the submission of a request to the International Court of justice (ICJ) to review its ruling against Serbia is resolved.

Egypt court adjourns Morsi retrial over prison escape

An Egyptian court adjourned a case against former president Mohamed Morsi until March 29 on Sunday, during the first session of his retrial over orchestrating a prison escape during the 2011 uprising.

Hamas rejects Netanyahu's proposal for international forces in Gaza

The Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to send international forces to the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave that Hamas has been ruling since 2007.

Deloitte: Growing optimism among CFOs

Chief financial officers (CFOs) in Croatia are more optimistic about growth and financial prospects in 2017 than they were last year, with most of them expecting increases in their company's revenue, a survey shows.

Russian agents main suspects for attempted coup in Montenegro

Russian citizens Eduard Shumakov and Vladimir Popoc, suspected of organising terrorist activities in Montenegro and forming a criminal organisation, are agents of Russia's Main Intelligence Agency (GRU), British, U.S. and other intelligence agencies confirmed, the Podgorica-based media reported on Sunday.

Six injured, 96 detained in Berlin fan clashes

Six people were treated in hospital and 96 detained in clashes in Berlin between fans of Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, police said Sunday.