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Sports

Russia's Putin weighs in on doping hacking scandal

media Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a document before getting a ballot at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Moscow, Russia, September 18, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blasted the "hypocrisy" of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), after more leaked documents revealed that Olympic athletes had been prescribed treatment otherwise banned.

The Russian hacking group known as the Fancy Bears, leaked a fourth batch of confidential medical documents on Monday, that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) claims was hacked from its computer system.

Olympic champions Mo Farah, Rafael Nadal and Justin Rose are all on the list.

The group claims the athletes used banned medical substances that may have enhanced their performance.

A charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin agrees with: "While we don't approve of the hackers' action, it has helped reveal that people, who took part in the Olympics and looked absolutely healthy, had taken banned medicines giving them an edge in competition," he said at a special ceremony to celebrate Russian Paralympian achievement, an alternative to the Paralympics tournament from which Moscow was banned.

'Yet for some reason, our Paralympians, based only on some unclear suspicion that they were taking some unclear medicines, are being excluded from the Paralympics. Of course this decision is unfair and hypocritical," he said.

The Russian track and field team was banned from the Rio Olympics after a damning report revealed a culture of state-sponsored doping, while the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) issued a blanket ban on the entire Russian team from the Paralympic games, sparking the wrath of Moscow.

Yet critics are worried by the actions of the Fancy Bears - whether they're condoned by Moscow or not, and above all their claim that TUE - Therapeutic Use Exemption - is a license for doping.

Sports stars like British hockey player and Olympic gold medalist, Samantha Quek argue this could put athletes off from taking vital medicine, to avoid accusations of cheating.

In Britain, and elsewhere across the globe, this fresh whiff of scandal didn't stop Paralympian champions from coming home to a hero's welcome.

In the UK, the Queen praised the performance of the national Paralympic team as "magnificent", while in South Africa, dozens of people gathered at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday to welcome Team South Africa back home.

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