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The Russian embassy in South Africa has discussed allegations of doping by American sports icons Simone Biles and Serena Williams. This isn’t the first time gymnast Biles had to contend with such allegations. In 2016, leaked medical records from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) showed Simone Biles tested positive for methylphenidate, a banned substance, during the Rio Olympics.

Biles was on a roll during the 2016 Rio Olympics and managed to win 4 Gold medals and 1 Bronze medal in her debut Olympics. However, with unprecedented success came allegations of doping. Biles decided to come clean and admitted to the use of methylphenidate due to her ADHD condition.

Simone Biles claimed she has taken medicine for ADHD since she was a kid

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Following the Rio Olympics 2016, Russian hackers leaked the medical records of Simone Biles, tennis players Venus Williams and Serena Williams, and basketball player Elena Delle Donne from the WADA database in September 2016. The records showed Biles using methylphenidate, a stimulant that is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The Olympic champion was forced to address her ADHD and publicly admit her approved use of the medication after the leak.

I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid“, her tweet read at the start. Before being tested positive for the drug, Biles had already received permission from the International Gymnastics Federation for its usage. The 26-year-old had further stated her belief in the clean sport, writing, “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“.

WADA had claimed the hackers were a “Russian cyber espionage group” called Fancy Bears. The hackers had revealed records of “Therapeutic Use Exemptions” (TUEs), which allow athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need. Biles followed WADA’s requirement to file for a therapeutic use exemption, which allows an athlete with a medical diagnosis to use a prohibited drug.

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After admitting to her ADHD, Biles went a step extra in making her stand clear and letting her fans know that she wasn’t shy from talking about ADHD.

Biles was not afraid to let people know of her ADHD

Medical experts suggest that methylphenidate, known by brand names such as Ritalin and Adderall, enhances the function of neurotransmitters in the brain, and thus gives no athletic edge to Biles. The Final Five phenom had even filed for a therapeutic use exemption which allowed her to use a prohibited drug. And making her voice known, Biles publicly embraced her flaws in the next tweet.

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READ MORE: Simone Biles Opens Up About ‘A Sad’ Reality Amidst Celebrations for Her Sister’s Special Day

Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I’m afraid to let people know”, an enraged Biles wrote. The 4x Olympic Gold medalist shut down all the allegations and embraced her medical problem publicly. While the world missed her presence at the 2020 Olympics, Biles is once again gearing up for a multiple gold-winning campaign in Paris.