Paula Radcliffe: Blood tests prove my innocence

Paula Radcliffe said pressure on her 'was bordering on abuse'. Picture: Getty
Paula Radcliffe said pressure on her 'was bordering on abuse'. Picture: Getty
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Paula Radcliffe’s blood test results which the marathon world record holder says prove she is innocent of doping have been revealed.

The results have been made public by Sky News and the three “off-scores” were 114.86, 109.86 and 109.3 – it is understood the figures are correct.

Scores above 103 by a female athlete can be regarded as “suspicious” but training at altitude and tests taken immediately after a race can lead to higher results.

Radcliffe said the results had been looked at by an independent expert and she had reports clearing her.

The Commons culture, media and sport select committee are preparing to call on Lord Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), to defend the governing body, as tension increases around doping allegations that have engulfed the sport.

A 2003 paper to which Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto, the experts used by the Sunday Times, contributed said the commonly used cut-off value for women training at altitude was 111.7. That figure is higher than two of the three scores in question and Radcliffe has said the third was taken within two hours of competition, which would render it invalid under the rules. It came from a sample taken immediately after a half-marathon in 29C heat in Portugal. The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) now considers any samples taken within two hours of competition as invalid, because exertion can affect blood values.

Radcliffe also stressed that her case demonstrates the complexities of analysing blood values, and the difficulty of drawing conclusions.

“This data needed to be looked at in context by the right experts so I requested WADA go back and go over again all of this data,” she said.

“I know that the IAAF have done that, I have requested that independent experts do that and I have those reports.”

Radcliffe added: “I had to wait to get those in place but I’m very glad I have them. They can tell me you don’t have three values that crossed any threshold, not when you apply the context of whether the test followed a period of altitude training or was carried out at altitude.

“Not when you apply whether the two hour rule – that it cannot be used within two hours of hard competition or hard training – is not valid. That rules out two of the tests, and the other is not above the threshold.”

Earlier, Radcliffe had claimed the pressure being put on her to release her blood test data was “bordering on abuse”.

According to the Sunday Times, the test results, which they attributed to “a top British athlete”, were “highly unusual” and “abnormal”. It said one of the results could be attributed “to an illicit blood transfusion, but this is only a suspicion and not proven by the results”.

Radcliffe, a vocal campaigner against drug cheats during her career, has admitted to fluctuations in her blood test scores, but said they were down to innocent reasons and she had been cleared by WADA.