Moscow: President Vladimir Putin says the hack of Olympic athletes' data has cast a spotlight on a "hypocritical" decision to bar Russian athletes from the Rio Paralympics.
Putin spoke Monday as the hackers' group known as Fancy Bears, which the World Anti-Doping Agency said was linked to Russia, unloaded another package of Olympic athletes' data. The athletes had permission from sports or anti-doping bodies to use medications that would otherwise be banned.
Putin says that 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."
In contrast, he adds, Russian Paralympic athletes were banned from the Rio Games on a suspicion, a decision he slammed as "dishonest, hypocritical and cowardly."
Russia is still smarting after its track and field athletes were banned from the Olympics and its entire Paralympics team turfed out of their Games over evidence of state-sponsored doping.
WADA called the hack "retaliation" after it released reports detailing the cheating and called on Russia to help stop the hacking of its computer systems.
The Kremlin reacted promptly by saying it was ready to help while denying Russian involvement in the hack.
(With inputs from agencies)