Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Exclusive: Paula Radcliffe tells ITV News of hurt and anger over doping allegations

Paula Radcliffe has spoken for the first time of her devastation at being linked to allegations of doping, saying: "It goes against everything I believe in."

Speaking exclusively to ITV News after releasing a statement in her own defence this afternoon, the marathon runner said there was "no way" that any sample she had ever given could show evidence of doping.

Watch the full interview with ITV News Presenter Mark Austin:

It comes after a Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing today on the issue of doping in sport, at which MP Jesse Norman mentioned "British athletes", including some medallists and winners of the London Marathon.

The comments prompted Radcliffe to release a statement defending her innocence.

She has now spoken in person for the first time since issuing the statement, telling ITV News of her anger at being put in a position of having to defend herself when she had done "nothing wrong".

There is no way that any of my samples ever provided, anywhere, can ever show any suspicion of doping - because it was never the case.

I can categorically say that I have never, ever taken any performance enhancing drugs.

I feel very angry, very hurt and very sad. I also feel very strongly that I haven't done anything wrong, so why should I be made to feel as though I need to defend myself?

It shouldn't happen - an innocent athlete should never ever be put in the position I'm here in today.

But having said that, I will do anything I can do to defend myself. I have never done anything wrong, and that will always be the case.

– Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe at the finish line of the London Marathon earlier this year Credit: PA

She also criticised both the Sunday Times and today's parliamentary hearing for what she said amounted to "singling her out" above other athletes.

Other than running fast, what reason have they got to put me in this position?

They're not asking Usain Bolt to justify why he set a world record, they're not asking any other world record holders to go out there and to justify and to publish their blood data to prove anything there.

– Paula Radcliffe

She told ITV News that the analysts who identified fluctuations in her blood samples only had access to basic data, without knowing whether the athletes had been altitude training, what medication they were on, when and how the tests were taken and using what mechanism, and how the samples were stored and transported.

All of these things, she said, could affect the result of blood tests - and she argued it would be unfair to make those natural fluctuations public.

There will be athletes who quite innocently and normally give an abormal result at some point, and they will be followed up and examined by the relevant governing bodies with the right context. Never should any of that ever see the light of day.

– Paula Radcliffe

In addition, she added, two of the three tests under discussion were taken immediately after a race - a method which is now considered to give invalid results, due to the effect of long-distance running on the body.

She finished by thanking fans for the outpouring of support she has received since making the statement, and assured those who have put their faith in her in the past that she would never do anything to jeopardise that.

More on this story