Yesterday, Jesse Norman, a British Tory MP suggested in Parliament that a British winner of the London Marathon may have been implicated in a drugs scandal that has been taking hold of world athletics.
This seemed to suggest that Paula Radcliffe was somehow involved in the blood doping scandal which the Sunday Times has been investigating. Paula has strongly denied all allegations:
“I categorically deny that I have resorted to cheating in any form whatsoever at any time in my career”
“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.”
The Sunday times alleges that Paula posted three test results which were considered “abnormal”, but when looking at the results of these tests, the highest of these is still very low risk and seems to be a void test, Paula noted:
“Only one of my blood test scores is marginally above the 1 in 100 accepted threshold, and this is invalid given that it was collected immediately following a half marathon race run around midday in temperatures of approximately 30C.”
Other commentators have noted that a test score such as that could even be explained by altitude training and whilst it could have been considered for a follow up, there is absolutely no basis for suggesting that foul play has gone on.
So in a word – did Paula Radcliffe take drugs? No.