The most surprising thing about Paula Radcliffe effectively being named by the Parliamentary hearing into doping in sport is that it took so long for her name to come out.
It has been well known that Radcliffe was the elite British athlete with suspicious readings referred to in The Sunday Times investigation into the 12,000 leaked IAAF blood samples, but her name remained out of the public arena.
The women’s marathon world record-holder came out all guns blazing after saying “the cloak of Parliamentary privilege has been used to effectively implicate me” but denied any wrongdoing whatsoever. The result has been what she called “damage to my name and reputation that can never be fully repaired”.
How different the damage would have been if she had taken the decision to go public sooner is another matter and tellingly she said in her denial that she had wrestled long and hard with what to do back at the start of last month.
But the Radcliffe way has always been outspoken, perhaps most notably as she held aloft a banner with the words “EPO cheats out” directed at Russian Olga Yegorova at the 2011 World Championships. Yegorova was allowed to run despite a previous positive test.
Had the Mo Farah headlines not hit earlier this summer, Radcliffe might well have spoken out immediately to her accusers. But instead she saw Farah lambasted over the doping allegations made against his coach Alberto Salazar and for the two doping tests he missed in the lengthy build-up to London 2012.
For what it’s worth, I believe Radcliffe is telling the truth but I also believe she was wrong to stay quiet for so long.Reuse content