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  1. ITV Report

Paula Radcliffe hits out at system that allowed MP to link her to doping allegations

Video report by Steve Scott, ITV News Sports Editor

Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe has criticised a government committee hearing for "giving extra oxygen to lies and untruths" after it was inferred she was linked to doping.

She has called for more protection for people who are subject of allegations made without evidence in such hearings after she was forced to defend her innocence following comments made by MP Jesses Norman in a Culture, Media and Sport hearing on Tuesday.

Speaking to ITV News, Paula said: "It's more about how the whole situation came about and it's more about a frustration at being ever having to be put in this situation because I've never cheated at any point in my life.

"I have never taken a prohibited substance. I have never doped in any way and so to be put in this situation and to have to now justify myself when i'm innocent and when I am a clean athlete is really, really frustrating and beyond hurtful."

Addressing parliamentary privilege, she added: "If it's a way of uncovering the truth and getting to the truth then there's some value to it.

"When it's abused in a way that it's used to expose and give extra oxygen to lies and to untruths and to damage to someone's reputation then there should be some structure in place that protects the people who are being abused under that situation.

"I wasn't invited there, I wasn't in there to defend myself so then those stories are already running and already being given oxygen before you get a chance to defend yourself and to react."

MP Jesse Norman refused to comment when approached by ITV News this evening.

In an exclusive interview with ITV News on Tuesday, Radcliffe spoke of her anger at being linked to allegations of doping, saying: "It goes against everything I believe in" and expressed anger at having to defend herself when she had done "nothing wrong."

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