Tour de France leader Chris Froome has had his computers hacked and data stolen, by critics convinced he's doping, BBC (opens in new tab)wrote in a report on Wednesday.
Ever since his Tour de France win in 2013 he has been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, with some sceptics using power data to justify their case against him.
Froome insists he is clean and that he's never used drugs. "We think someone has hacked into training data and got Chris's files," said Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford. "We've got some legal guys on the case. I would never mention a name but ethically and morally if you are going to accuse someone of doping, then don't cheat."
"It's part of the game, isn't it?" he said. "If he does well, the rest of the Tour it's 'how do you know he's not doping?' The question of how to prove a negative is always going to be a difficult one.“
"I used to worry about it a lot more, but I don't any more. It's part of the game. Just try to be honest, tell the truth, be open."
BBC reported Froome said critics on social media who try to interpret power data are "clowns", adding that it means nothing without context. He has also said he is prepared to be a spokesman for drug-free sport.
Chris Froome has won in La Pierre-Saint-Martin, BBC (opens in new tab)reported yesterday, saying the Briton increased his overall lead to nearly three minutes.
Richie Porte was second, 59 seconds back, with Nairo Quintana third. Tejay van Garderen lies second overall, two minutes 52 seconds behind Froome.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab (opens in new tab) commented: "The news of Chris Froome’s data potentially being hacked not only demonstrates how more and more aspects of our lives are becoming digitised, and sets a clear indicator of how much of what we do everyday is connected online.
"A few years ago the idea of sports and hacking being connected would have seemed very strange, but with the advancement of technology, and analysing performance data becoming a critical part of an athlete’s overall performance in the field, it’s no longer surprising. With sporting individuals joining the ranks of celebrities, and with sport now becoming a full-on profession, career and business, athletes are at risk both outside their sport and whilst participating in the arena.
"This is because sport has continued to accrue so much investment and publicity over the past few years, so the opportunities for hacking - either for financial gain or sabotage – have developed. It’s also unsurprising that the potential compromise of confidential data might be a distraction to an athlete.
"With this in mind any organisation or person with an online presence must take steps to safeguard their data. Even at sporting events, where data needs to be transmitted and analysed at high speeds, it is imperative that online security is considered, in order to protect sensitive performance data and the technology systems that athletes rely upon."