Sunday 15 September 2019

Paula Radcliffe cleared of doping allegations

Paula Radcliffe celebrating completing the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon
Paula Radcliffe celebrating completing the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon

Martyn Ziegler

Paula Radcliffe has been declared innocent of any blood doping by world athletics' governing body the IAAF.

The distance runner went public to defend her name, claiming she had been effectively identified by a committee of MPs as having provided suspicious blood samples.

In its response to the culture, media and sport select committee, the IAAF said there were innocent reasons for the values in her blood profile. Follow-up tests on urine and blood samples all proved negative.

The IAAF statement says: "Paula Radcliffe's case illustrates the point perfectly. She has been publicly accused of blood doping based on the gross misinterpretation of raw and incomplete data.

"When all of the necessary information is considered, however (as the WADA ABP protocols require), there are clearly plausible explanations for the values in her profile that are entirely innocent."

IAAF president Lord Coe is to give evidence to the committee on Wednesday and the world athletics organisation has come out strongly in defence of its handling of suspicious blood samples taken between 2001 and 2009, when athletes' biological passports were introduced.

An investigation by German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times suggested the IAAF had not followed up on the suspicious tests.

The IAAF statement adds: "In two of the cases highlighted by The Sunday Times, the samples were collected immediately after competition (when dehydration causes a decrease in plasma concentration, and so an increase in reported haemoglobin concentration, even though there has been no increase in red blood cells).

"Any competent scientist would therefore immediately conclude that they should be disregarded. Furthermore, the IAAF followed up by testing Ms Radcliffe's urine samples for rEPO, and her blood samples for evidence of blood transfusions, and all of those tests came back negative."

PA Media

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