Paula Radcliffe has been vocal in refuting allegations implicating her in drug cheating.
Radcliffe MBE is the current women’s world record holder in the marathon. She finally called time on her illustrious running career in April 2015 and has since joined the BBC as a pundit, covering athletic events around the world with the likes of Gabby Logan and Denise Lewis.
Radcliffe has always been strong in her condemnation of the use of drugs in her sport.
Since the European Cup in 1999 Radcliffe has run in her events wearing a red ribbon to show her support for blood testing.
In 2001 along with team mate Hayley Tullett, Radcliffe held up a sign in the heats at the World Athletic Championships protesting against the reinstatement of Russian athlete Olga Yegorova who had been banned for doping.
In the video below, Paula tells the Telegraph her views on drug cheats competing in the 2012 London Olympics.
In 2015, doping allegations have swept through the world of athletics, implicating many high profile athletes in cheating claims. British long distance runner Mo Farah has felt the full force of the allegations and even pulled out of a 1500 metre event at the Birmingham Diamond League, claiming that he was “emotionally and physically drained” due to the allegations.
Usain Bolt, the fastest person in the world over 100 and 200 metre distances and possibly the sport’s most charismatic and most watched athlete was said to have rescued the sport of athletics after he triumphed over two-time drug cheat Justin Gatlin at the Beijing World championships in 2015.
In the wake of these widespread allegations of doping and cheating Radcliffe discouraged athletes from releasing blood-test data.
Radcliffe said that MP Jesse Norman “effectively implicated” her as a drug cheat during a parliamentary inquiry into drug cheating. However Norman denies these claims. He allegedly suggested to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee that London Marathon medal winners, including British athletes were under suspicion. Norman later posted a statement on his twitter account, stating that “for the avoidance of doubt, I have never made any allegation as to a specific athlete”. No specific names were mentioned during the inquiry.
However Radcliffe still feels that her name has been tarnished and linked to doping. She said that “damage has been done to my name and reputations can never be fully repaired”. She went on to say that she was “profoundly disappointed that the cloak of parliamentary privilege” had been use to drag her name through the mud.
There have been fluctuations in Paula’s blood data whilst she was competing and winning medals. Radcliffe has said that she has wanted to explain the discrepancies in the data but was advised to keep silent. In the light of the recent allegations she has now chosen to break her silence. However she insists that she was never gagged by any organization or committee, and was merely advised to keep silent to prevent her name being linked with false allegations of doping.
During Paula’s competitive career, there have been three incidences of abnormal blood data. In August 2015 she explained the results in an interview with the BBC. Radcliffe stated that one abnormal blood result was because the test had been taken following a half-marathon in 30-degree heat. Radcliffe was also ill before the race and was on a course of antibiotics. Two of the readings were from tests taken immediately after her race and all three were taken after Paula had been training at altitude. The World Anti- Doping Agency reviewed this data when it came to light and found no evidence of any wrongdoing.