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Marathon queen Radcliffe denies cheating after MPs probe doping in athletics

By Helen William

Published 09/09/2015

Paula Radcliffe with her husband Gary Lough, who is from Larne
Paula Radcliffe with her husband Gary Lough, who is from Larne

A "devastated" Paula Radcliffe has denied "cheating in any form" after saying she had been effectively implicated during a Parliamentary investigation into doping in athletics.

The marathon world record holder and three-time London Marathon winner issued a strongly-worded statement, which runs to over 1,700 words, after MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee began an investigation into blood doping in athletics.

Radcliffe (41), who is married to Larne athlete Gary Lough, was not named by the committee or in media reports.

But she said she felt she had to speak out after her "identity was effectively leaked at the Parliamentary hearing, under the guise of there being a British athlete and London Marathon winner who is erroneously under suspicion".

Radcliffe, who retired from competitive athletics this year following a persistent foot injury, said: "I categorically deny that I have resorted to cheating in any form whatsoever at any time in my career, and am devastated that my name has even been linked to these wide-ranging accusations."

Committee chairman Jesse Norman was questioning David Kenworthy, chairman of UKAD, the UK's national anti-doping agency, when he seemed to raise suspicions about a prominent British marathon runner.

He asked Mr Kenworthy during the House of Commons hearing: "When you hear that the London Marathon, potentially the winners or medallists at the London Marathon, potentially British athletes are under suspicion for very high levels of blood doping.

"When you think of the effect that has on young people and the community nature of that event, what are your emotions about that, how do you feel about that?"

Mr Kenworthy said: "I think it is a tragedy if you and I are looking at a sporting event with a degree of cynicism about what we are seeing.

"I think it is our role to overcome that cynicism."

Radcliffe said she "wrestled long and hard with a desire to speak out" following last month's publication of the joint investigation by the Sunday Times and the German broadcaster ARD of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes between 2001 and 2012.

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