Multiple gold medal-winning Rio Olympics hero Simone Biles was forced to reveal she’s on medication for ADHD, after her medical records were released by Russian hackers attempting to expose doping by US Olympic athletes.
The hackers – who also released the medical records of three other sportswomen, including Serena and Venus Williams and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne – sourced the files from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s database.
The leaked documents showed Biles had tested positive to methylphenidate, most commonly sold as Ritalin, a nervous system stimulant used to treat conditions including attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
USA Gymnastics quickly released a statement in support of Biles, saying “there is no violation” as she’s long been approved of a “therapeutic-use exemption” for the medication.
But Biles was even more direct, taking to Twitter to disclose her ADHD, and telling her followers “she has nothing to be ashamed of”.
“I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid,” she wrote.
“Please know, I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me.”
“Having ADHD and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing that I’m afraid to let people know,” she added.
Teammates and fans online lent their support to Biles, with many praising her for being so open in the face of such a breach of privacy and for using the moment to help challenge the stigma around mental health issues.