Press releases 14th April 2021

Investigation into serious breach of data secrecy by Russian intelligence agency discontinued

During the period December 2017 to May 2018, the Swedish Sports Confederation was the target of repeated and comprehensive breaches of their computer system in Sweden. The offence is classified as serious breach of data secrecy. Today, the prosecutor has decided to discontinue the investigation due to the lack of the necessary preconditions for taking legal proceedings abroad or extradition to Sweden.

Under the direction of a prosecutor from the National Security Unit, the Swedish Security Service has investigated who or what has carried out the data breaches and for what purpose. The investigation has cooperated with several other nation’s security services.

”The investigation shows that the Russian military intelligence, GRU who, via its 85th Center, also known as unit 26165, has planned and carried out the serious breaches of data secrecy against the Swedish Sports Confederation. We can further state that the breaches have been a part of a Russian campaign directed against national and international anti-doping organisations such as WADA and USADA. The campaign has also been directed against FIFA,” says public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist.

The data breaches have resulted in GRU accessing Swedish athletes’ personal details, such as medical records. “The information has been published openly and, based on these details, Swedish media have written articles which follow GRU’s narrative of discrediting athletes and sports organisations in the West,” says Mats Ljungqvist.

“Against the background of parties acting for a foreign power, in this case Russia, we have reached the conclusion that the necessary preconditions for taking legal proceedings abroad or extradition to Sweden are lacking. I have, therefore, today decided to discontinue the investigation,” concludes Mats Ljungqvist.

• This media release was published by the Swedish Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten) on 13 April 2021. Click here for the original.

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