Simone Biles Addresses Leaked Medical Records and ADHD Misconceptions

Wednesday - 14/09/2016 11:55

USA gymnastics superstar Simone Biles came under the spotlight on Tuesday after Russian hackers circulated confidential medical records from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) database that showed her use of Methylphenidate, a stimulant for treatment of ADHD.

Biles, 19, was forced to publicly address her ADHD and the use of an approved medication after the leak.

The powerhouse gymnast was among three other Team USA star athletes involved in the illegal release of personal medical data-- tennis players Venus and Serena Williamsand basketball player Elena Delle Donne were also targeted.

The documents were illegally obtained from the WADA database and revealed that Biles tested positive for the medication, which the gymnast was given permission to use by the International Gymnastics Federation.

The gold medalist took to Twitter to address the situation and wrote, "I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid. 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."

According to ABC News senior medical contributor Dr. Jen Ashton, these medications "are thought to work by enhancing neurotransmitter function in the brain."

Dr. Ashton said that in her medical opinion this kind of medication would not give an athlete an edge.

She added that the WADA requires an ADHD to be diagnosed by "experienced clinicians" and should be a "medical best practice treatment."

WADA addressed the attack carried out by an alleged espionage group called "Fancy Bears," who revealed the records, known as therapeutic use exemptions.

Biles followed their requirement to file for an exemption which allows athletes with medical diagnoses to use a prohibited drug.

"I think that athletes are so in-tuned with how their body feels during competition and how their mind focuses, that to add anything that will alter that is not a risk most will take," said Ashton.

ADHD is commonly diagnosed during childhood but often lasts well into adulthood. At least five percent of children suffer from ADHD in the U.S., according to the American Psychiatric Association.

The final five phenom posted another tweet letting her fans and supporters know that this incident will not knock her down, "Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I'm afraid to let people know."

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