Not guilty, says Radcliffe

Radcliffe, a vocal campaigner against drug cheats during her career, has admitted to fluctuations in her blood test scores, but said they were down to entirely innocent reasons.

British athlete Paula Radcliffe after she was presented with a lifetime achievement award during the 35th London Marathon. The three-time London Marathon winner and World record holder has denied doping at any time.   -  AP

Women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe insists blood test results released on September 10 prove she is not guilty of doping. The athlete, who retired after this year’s London Marathon, allowed the tests to be made public after she felt implicated by a UK parliament hearing on blood doping.

The hearing came after reports by British newspaper The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD in August that they had gained access to a database showing suspicious blood test results in over 800 athletes that were not followed up.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has vehemently denied those allegations.

After claiming the pressure being put on her to release her blood test data was “bordering on abuse”, Radcliffe changed her mind in a bid to clear her name and the results were made public by Sky News.

The 41-year-old Englishwoman’s “off-scores”, the measures used to gauge an athlete’s blood values, in the three tests were 114.86, 109.86 and 109.3, according to Sky News.

Anything above 103 recorded by a female athlete can be a trigger for investigation, but the threshold can rise for a number of reasons, including altitude training and tests taken immediately after extreme exertion.

Radcliffe, a vocal campaigner against drug cheats during her career, has admitted to fluctuations in her blood test scores, but said they were down to entirely innocent reasons and she had been cleared by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“This data needed to be looked at in context by the right experts so I requested WADA go back and go over again all of this data,” she told Sky News.

“UK Anti-Doping can do that as well. I know that the IAAF have done that, I have requested that independent experts do that and I have those reports.

“I had to wait to get those in place but I’m very glad I have them.

“They can tell me you don’t have three values that crossed any threshold, not when you apply the context of whether the test followed a period of altitude training or was carried out at altitude.

“Not when you apply whether the two hour rule – that it cannot be used within two hours of hard competition or hard training – is not valid.

“That rules out two of the tests they are referring to, and the other is not above the threshold.”

Radcliffe received welcome support from new International Association of Athletics Federations president Sebastian Coe, who said she should not have been forced into defending herself so publicly.

“I think everybody knows Paula is a clean athlete, she had to defend herself, which I thought she did very well the other day, but I don’t think she should have been in the position of having to do that,” Coe told ITV.

“I don’t believe any athlete, any person, should be forced to put private information in the public domain like that.”

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