Callum Skinner, the British track cyclist who won the gold and silver medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics, has described his frustration after his stolen medical files were made public by hackers.
The 24-year-old cyclist was among many athletes whose medical records were posted on the Fancy Bears website. In his defense, Skinner released medical information dating back to when he was five years old to prove he was the victim of a smear.
The documents released by the hackers suggested that the Scot was granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the banned substance Prednisolone in 2014 and for Salbutamol in January of this year.
In his career, the Scot has had two therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs). One of the TUEs was in 2014 and one in January this year, both for treating asthma. The medical records released by Skinner showed he suffered his first asthmatic attack when he was five, when he was admitted to Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow and he was later hospitalized another three times as a youngster. Skinner remarked he resolve to release his National Health Service (NHS) medical records after the leak. The cyclist added he was keen to make his records public for two reasons: to prove that his condition is real and also to show that asthma need not stop somebody competing at the highest level. The Olympic gold medalist added he has been able to manage his condition better as he got older.
Skinner added he does not claim the therapeutic use exemption is perfect. The cyclist added one athlete using the system for performance enhancement rather than for genuine health reasons is one too many and further remarked but personally, he has no issue with all his TUEs, and drug test results, being made public. The cyclist added however he is frustrated that his medical records were shown to suggest he is a doper. Skinner said he is averse to having these things public, but he would have preferred to have done it on his own terms. Skinner added this was an invasion of his privacy and it was just put out there with people willing to interpret it as they wish.
The cyclist added cycling's world governing body closely examined his condition and medical requirements. Skinner said the team doctor recommends the medication and then it is signed off by another two independent doctors: the UCI and UK Anti-doping - and UCI is the governing body. The British track cyclist added it does go through a few checks and it is certainly not easy to get them and added his TUEs went under a good level of scrutiny.
Callum Skinner won gold in the team sprint at the Rio Olympics, and silver in the individual sprint. He won gold in the team sprint at the Rio Olympics - along with Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes - as well as taking silver in the individual sprint when he was beaten in the final by teammate Kenny. The honors of Skinner include two team sprint gold medals at UCI Track Cycling World Cup events and a gold medal at the UEC European Track Championships.