PARIS -- Somewhere in Russia, computer hackers must be congratulating themselves on a well-executed con.By stealing and then publishing the private medical files of more than 120 international athletes from a World Anti-Doping Agency database, the self-described Fancy Bears hack team has diverted attention from Russias systemic abuse of banned performance-enhancing drugs in sport, the biggest doping scandal since East German officials fed powerful steroids to teenagers during the Cold War.The hackers tactic, used by tricksters everywhere, of waving one hand so people forget what the other is doing, has worked spectacularly. In July and August, sport was focused on how to punish Russia for a government-sanctioned program of doping and deception detailed by successive WADA probes. Russian track and field athletes, with one exception, missed the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as a result, and Russia was banned outright from the Paralympic Games.But now, in part because of the hackers mischief-making, the spotlight has shifted to non-Russian athletes whose data was stolen and onto WADA itself, left red-faced by the electronic intrusion.Instead of focusing single-mindedly on how to wean Russia off its cheating addiction and protect Russian youngsters from being strong-armed into regimens of needles and pills, sport has been fed a red herring, sucked into debate about whether the global anti-doping system is fit for purpose. Olympic leaders meet this Saturday to discuss WADAs future.If they listen carefully, perhaps theyll hear bears in the background, chuckling.The hackers must not have the last laugh. Its time to call time on their scam.For starters, the stolen info theyve published is not, as they claim on their website, sensational proof that non-Russian athletes have been doping with WADAs backing. Quite the opposite: Its proof that sport has a system in place that allows athletes, like the rest of us, to take medicines we need.Take, for example, Kathleen Baker, who won a relay gold medal and individual silver in Rio. The American swimmer has Crohns disease, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract that causes persistent diarrhea, bleeding, weight loss, cramps and other symptoms.Swimmings governing body granted Baker medical waivers to take anti-inflammatory steroids that normally would be banned for athletes in competition. Her waivers were among more than 200 stolen and published by the Fancy Bears. Others got waivers to treat asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other recognized medical conditions. Several have waivers allowing them to carry emergency syringes of adrenaline, a stimulant banned for athletes in competition but which can be life-saving for sufferers of severe allergic reactions.Such people really have to have adrenaline handy; if you dont you can die, Ken Fitch, an Australian sports doctor with long experience of the waiver system, said in an interview.Such exemptions, in short, bear zero relation to the elaborate, hard-core doping schemes that operated in Russia, since exposed by two WADA-commissioned investigations, with designer cocktails of banned steroids, dirty athletes drug-test samples made to disappear and replaced with supposedly clean ones, and the Russian FSB security agency part of the plot, seemingly finding a way to pop open what were meant to be tamper-proof sample bottles.Also important: A large slice of the Fancy Bears leak is outdated, including waivers from 2007, 2008 and 2009 for drugs that then were more closely regulated but which athletes can now take freely within reason, because they are no longer considered potentially performance-enhancing if not abused.These include common asthma medications. Of the 127 athletes whose information was stolen and released so far, 53 had prescriptions for asthma inhalers and anti-inflammatory steroid injections into joints, not muscles. Today, these treatments dont require waivers, because WADAs rules have evolved with science.In short, in many cases, the Fancy Bears are peddling moldy fluff, not proof of anything untoward.WADA, based in Canada, says it has been told by law enforcement agencies that the hacks originated from Russia. Russian authorities dispute the allegation. Tony Brenton, formerly Britains top diplomat in Moscow, says Russia has a record of disinformation campaigns designed to distract from its own behavior.Im sure that all this hacking, whether officially sanctioned or not, is aimed by patriotic Russians to demonstrate that they are not the ones guilty of doping, Brenton said in an interview. They are very good at putting up these rival narratives designed to obscure what are obvious truths.A few of the Therapeutic Use Exemption certificates raised eyebrows and necessary questions about whether the waiver system is too easily gamed by unscrupulous athletes seeking banned drugs for performance enhancement, not medical need.Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins found himself having to explain waivers for corticosteroid injections in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He says they were to prevent chronic hay fever. Fitch says that of all of the leaked TUEs, thats one of the ones that really, really concerned me.Im not saying that he did it for performance enhancement, but it was a TUE that wouldnt stand scrutiny today, he said.Still, its a giant leap from there to the far bigger and more pressing problem of doping run amok in Russia.So beware of those bears.---John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at)ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester. See his work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/john-leicester Cheap Hydro Flask For Sale . -- Josh Sterk scored once and set up two more as the Oshawa Generals edged the visiting Belleville Bulls 3-2 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. Cheap Hydro Flask Free Shipping . Defenceman Yannick Weber scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Canucks breathed a sigh of relief with a 2-1 win on Saturday night. http://www.discounthydroflaskcheap.com/ . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing room, smiling, laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons team. Hydro Flask For Cheap . Hey!" The lower tier of the School End of Queens Park Rangers Loftus Road was packed solid with a very festive-sounding Chelsea choral section in this particular part of South Africa Road London, W12. Discount Hydro Flask Cheap . Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz were sent to Toronto on Saturday as the Maple Leafs traded defenceman Jesse Blacker and draft picks to the Anaheim Ducks.SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy envisioned a disappointing flight to St. Louis that might have been if San Franciscos mistake-filled funk had extended into another day against the Oakland Athletics. Pablo Sandoval hit a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth, Barry Zito delivered another timely victory to end a six-start winless stretch, and the Giants beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Thursday to avoid a season sweep in the Bay Bridge Series. "If this game got away from us, it would have been a long flight to St. Louis, believe me," Bochy said. "I thought today was really critical. Theres some pride involved. The last thing you want to do is get swept here in this Bay Series." A day after San Francisco made three errors and two other defensive miscues, the Giants finally got to A.J. Griffin (5-4) to snap the As six-game winning streak with their lone win in the four-game interleague rivalry between last years West division champions. Brandon Belt doubled in two runs in San Franciscos four-run sixth. Zito (4-3) won against his former club for his first victory since beating San Diego at home April 21. The Giants improved to 7-0 in his home outings and have won 13 straight regular-season games started by Zito at AT&T Park. "He was just being Zito out there," Belt said, "We needed it." San Francisco hasnt lost a home start by Zito since last Aug. 2 against the New York Mets. The Giants have won 14 straight starts by the lefty at AT&T Park when including Game 1 of the World Series last fall against the Tigers. Coco Crisp doubled among his three hits, but that was all the As could do against Zito. Yoenis Cespedes added an RBI single in the seventh, extending his career-best hitting streak to 12 games. Oakland (31-24) missed a chance to move a season-best nine games over .500 and lost for only the second time in 13 games. The As have dropped 11 of their past 14 in the Giants waterfront ballpark, which drew a sellout crowd of 41,250 for the afternoon finale. "I think our team showed a lot of fire and we were competitive," As third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "You go through a season and get tons of opportunities when you dont come through. But at the same time were playing the game right way and I guarantee you well be ready for the White Sox." The Giants lost the first three games of this Bay Area rivalry to drop the season series for the first time since going 2-4 in 2008 after a sloppy 9-6 loss Wednesday night. Sandovals hit in the sixth gave the Giants their first lead in 23 innings. "Weve been waiting on an inning like that," Bochy said. San Francisco avoided its first season sweep by the As since the clubs began playing interleague matchups in 1997. Zitoo faced trouble in each of his first five innings before finishing his day with a 1-2-3 sixth.dddddddddddd He delivered just the third quality start in the past 16 by the Giants struggling rotation. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner for Oakland is 3-4 in seven career starts against his old team. "I get some juice just because its a tough team," Zito said. "Weve got a lot of talent in the Bay right now. Its good to see. We definitely know what we need to do, we have to go out there and be better on the starting side." Sergio Romo, San Franciscos fourth reliever, finished for his 14th save in 16 chances. Zito allowed a leadoff double to Crisp in the first and Jed Lowries walk before the two pulled off a double steal, but Zito then retired the next three Giants batters in order to escape unscathed. He allowed a two-out walk to Griffin -- making his first career plate appearance -- in the second then Crisps single, and pitching coach Dave Righetti paid the lefty a mound visit. Cespedes walked leading off the third, but was caught stealing. Donaldson walked, then Nate Freiman grounded into an inning-ending double play. "Amazing, really," Bochy said. "He was quite the Houdini today. I dont know how he did it." Zito walked a season-high six batters, struck out five and allowed one run and three hits in six innings. Zitos 117 pitches were his most since also throwing 117 on Aug. 6, 2010, at Atlanta. Griffin, a younger version of Zito with his similar style and big curveball, gave up four runs and five hits, struck out five and walked one in 5 2-3 innings. As manager Bob Melvin spent more than an hour in traffic Thursday morning trying to get across the bay during rush hour -- after doing the same leaving late Wednesday. "Literally the Bay Bridge Series," he said. "I was on the Bay Bridge an hour last night and an hour this morning. Quick turnaround." Notes: San Francisco CF Angel Pagan will test his injured left hamstring Friday in St. Louis with batting practice and running. He received a cortisone shot Wednesday and has missed five straight games. He could play as soon as Saturday. "Hopefully very soon. Im going crazy right now," he said. ... Giants 2B Marco Scutaro was out of the lineup with what Bochy calls "the crud" that has been going through the clubhouse. ... RHP Chad Gaudin will start Sunday at St. Louis for the Giants if not needed before, and Bochy believes he can go five or six innings considering he has 75 major league starts and has thrown 70-plus pitches. ... San Francisco RHP Ryan Vogelsong had his cast removed from surgery last week on his broken pitching hand. He is now wearing a splint and began working out again Wednesday. ' ' '