Paula Radcliffe claims she’s not a cheat – should we believe her?
Sayid Mansour's Google+
Paula Radcliffe “categorically” denies cheating. No way, no how, she says. The 41-year-old former London Marathon winner was incensed that in the course of a parliamentary committee, she was “effectively implicated” by The Sunday Times‘ and its allegations of blood doping in athletics.
Radcliffe still holds the world record marathon of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 secs in 2003, which is almost three mins faster than any other female athlete in history. That seems suspicious to most people, but is it enough to implicate her?
After the Culture, Media & Sport Committee hearing, Radcliffe has released a statement saying that she was “devastated” her name was “linked to these wide-ranging accusations.”
She went on to say, “If, however, innocent athletes, as in my case, are caught up in the desire to sensationalise and expand the story, then that goal loses a lot of credibility, and indeed, opportunities to catch the true offenders.”
She then added, “As the journalists themselves state, abnormal readings are not proof of guilt, yet many innocent athletes are being implicated and tainted due to the distorted interpretation of a limited historic dataset. The Anti-Doping system cannot be manipulated in such a way that innocent athletes are no longer protected from the misuse of stolen and leaked incomplete data, the misinterpretation of that data, and, sensationalist newspaper expose.”
So, those are her words. But what are we to think? Well, personally, I believe her. I don’t think this is the way that a non-guilty person would behave. And we have to add to that the fact that no-one in her entourage has ever said anything suspicious about her at all.
Compare that to Lance Amstrong where there had been whispers for years. For me, then, she’s not guilty – for now at least.