Paula Radcliffe "categorically denies" cheating after parliamentary meeting on doping references athletes "with links to London Marathon"

 
Joe Hall
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Radcliffe ran the London Marathon for the final time this year (Source: Getty)

Paula Radcliffe has "categorically denied" cheating in a response to a parliamentary select committee meeting which she said "effectively implicated" her in The Sunday Times' investigation into blood doping in athletics.

Read more: Paula Radcliffe backs Wada stance on blood data

The three-time London Marathon winner 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 ben been linked to these wide-ranging accusations.

"I have campaigned long and hard throughout my career for a clean sport. I have publicly condemned cheats and those who aid them...by linking me to allegations of cheating, damage done to my name and reputation can never be fully repaired, no matter how untrue I know them to be."

A culture, media and sport committee hearing was held today to discuss doping in sport following a Sunday Times investigation which suggested widespread cheating in athletics.

The select committee chair, MP Jesse Norman, indicated that UK athletes with links to the London Marathon could "potentially be in the frame" of the allegations.

Radcliffe was not named, yet she is the only Briton to have won the race since 1996 and her victories have become synonymous with the competition in the eyes of many.

Radcliffe said it was "profoundly disappointing that the cloak of Parliamentary privilege has been used to effectively implicate me, tarnishing my reputation...

"At the time of the recent Sunday Times coverage, I wrestled long and hard with a desire to speak out with the true facts concerning my position, and, to fully explain any fluctuations in my blood data,

However by 'coming out' in that fashion I was made aware that I would be facilitating mass coverage of my name in connection with false allegations of possible doping, which would enable further irreparable damage to be done to my reputation. As a result of today's parliamentary hearing I can no longer maintain my silence."

Following the Sunday Times investigation (which the International Association of Athletics Federations called "sensationalist"), Radcliffe publicly backed the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) call on athletes not to release personal blood data as it would still be impossible for competitors to prove they were clean.

In contrast, double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah and European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey both released their blood test data.

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