U.S. Intelligence: Russians Hacked DNC Because They Got Caught Doping

U.S. Intelligence: Russians Hacked DNC Because They Got Caught Doping
Photo: Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports
A U.S. government intelligence report released today says that Vladimir Putin was motivated to interfere in the American presidential election because he believed that the Russian doping scandal was part of "US-directed efforts to defame Russia." Deadspin reported the news first.

Three things are certainly true:
-Russian athletes were doping and avoiding detection as part of a massive state-sponsored conspiracy. The entire Russian track team was eventually banned from the Rio Olympics as a result.
-Fancy Bear, a hacking team widely believed to be part of the Russian government, hacked the World Anti-Doping Agency's TUE database as retaliation for WADA's reports on Russian doping.
-Someone, believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to be Russia, hacked the Democratic National Committee's and John Podesta's emails. Podesta was the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign. The near-continuous publication of the DNC and Podesta emails were embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, and caused the DNC chair to resign right before the Democratic convention.

Today's declassification of the intelligence report makes it clear that the FBI, CIA, and NSA believe that the three events are related. The first page of the report states that: 

"We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency…Putin publicly pointed to the Panama Papers disclosure and the Olympic doping scandal as US-directed efforts to defame Russia, suggesting he sought to use disclosures to discredit the image of the United States and cast it as hypocritical."

We now live in a world where doping in sports could plausibly have the most far-reaching effects imaginable.
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