KGB legends will be turning in their grave. Where has it all gone so wrong?

Having spent decades building up Russia's reputation as the home of class leading espionage and dirty deeds, they are having their reputation ruined by a mob called the Fancy Bears.

In the good old days, anybody who pissed the Ruskies off was in danger of getting stabbed with a life threatening brolly. They might even disappear into thin air. Now the best the old Dirty Tricks World Champs can do is poke the borax with a couple of cuddly bears.

The Kremlin is denying that these Cute and Cuddly Bears are theirs, and who could blame them given how bad the Cuddlies are performing. Even their website is a big disappointment, with no interactive area, an old school font which looks like it belongs on a typewriter and really annoying cartoon bears bobbing about.


So what is this all about? In what is widely regarded as an attempt at a retaliatory strike against the world for banning Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics, the Cuddlies are hackers who are revealing the medical records of athletes who have been given therapeutic use exemptions.

They are good at getting past firewalls, but don't have much firepower.

"Greetings citizens...wait for sensational proof of famous athletes taking doping substances any time soon," screams a slightly outdated blurb. It's all downhill from there.

The sixth release of these incredibly exciting records includes a couple of Kiwi gold medallists. We now know that yachtie Peter Burling had to use a banned substance to deal with a wisdom tooth extraction and rowing legend Mahe Drysdale got an exemption to deal with haemorrhoids.

Wow, wow, wow. Put it this way: I can't see John le Carre finding a lot of good material from the Bears to base a new spy novel on. The Cuddlies are getting so boring that they'll be lucky to make the newspapers soon.

This is a Cold War alright, as in revealing who among the world's greatest athletes had colds many years ago. Rather than exposing a whole lot of drug cheats, the Cuddlies have conjured up images of a giant doctor's waiting room full of rule-abiding athletes who are just like us.

Instead of exposing a world full of sports cheats, they are getting it all wrong and doing the opposite. Come on Bears. Raise your game.