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MP blames press for Radcliffe doping furore

Conservative MP Jesse Norman, whose comments forced former athlete Paula Radcliffe to deny doping, has criticised the press reaction the matter.

Norman told a select committee that British athletes who had won the London Marathon had potentially doped, leaving Radcliffe heavily under suspicion.

Jesse Norman, left, has come under fire. Credit: PA

“What is interesting, also, in a three-hour hearing, what’s happened is the press pack – and it is a pack, it’s a herd of ungulates – have basically taken this single snippet and run off to Paula Radcliffe and attempted to bounce her in to making some kind of statement. I think that’s very unfortunate,” Norman told Radio 4's Today programme.

The 53-year-old MP spoke of growing up with Radcliffe's success in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“I certainly massively admire Paula Radcliffe, I grew up on tales of her extraordinary exploits in the 90s and early 2000s, and nothing could be further from the intention of the committee than to have named any athletes. In fact no names were given, no allegations were made, no specific athletes were described, no test results were mentioned.”