Athletics

Radcliffe warns of 'innocent athletes' being caught up in doping scandal

Paula Radcliffe 
Mark Staniforth

PAULA RADCLIFFE has warned that “many innocent athletes” face being implicated in the doping scandal currently engulfing athletics following allegations of large-scale blood test irregularities.

Radcliffe (inset) chose to speak out after parliamentary committee chairman Jesse Norman appeared to indirectly refer to the three-time London Marathon winner during a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hearing.

Members of parliament have launched their own investigation into the allegations made by the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD that hundreds of athletes had recorded suspicious results which were not pursued by the International Association of Athletics Federarions (IAAF) – something the governing body denies.

Radcliffe, who was a vocal campaigner against drug cheats during her career, said there was a danger of the data being misinterpreted for a number of reasons – and stressed her own had been cleared by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Radcliffe said in a statement: “Abnormal readings are not proof of guilt, yet many innocent athletes are being implicated and tainted due to the distorted interpretation of a limited historic dataset.

“The Anti-Doping system cannot be manipulated in such a way that innocent athletes are no longer protected from the misuse of stolen and leaked incomplete data, the misinterpretation of that data, and sensationalist newspaper exposes.

“I am 100 per cent confident that the full explanations and circumstances around any fluctuations in my personal data on a very small number of occasions will stand up to any proper scrutiny and investigation.

“Indeed they have already done so. In my case, numerous experts have concluded that there is simply no case to answer.”

Athletics

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