Women’s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe has suggested a parliamentary hearing into doping last year was “a set-up”. However, Radcliffe accepted a partial apology from Jesse Norman, chairman of the culture, media, and sport select committee during the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show.

Radcliffe remarked personally she feels she would appreciate an apology. The English long-distance runner, who is the current women’s world record holder in the marathon with her time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds, remarked Norman may not have intentionally meant to name her but if you ask him to name a winner or medalist of the London Marathon she doesn’t think he could name any of the others in that period and it shouldn’t have come down to that.

Norman had remarked winners of the London marathon including “potentially British athletes” were among those with suspicious blood tests. The chairman of the culture, media, and sport select committee did not use the name of Radcliffe but she argued there are so few people that fit that description he may have well have.

The three-time winner of the London Marathon added it just smacks to me of a little bit of a set-up and an exercise for the MPs instead of an exercise to get to the truth and to determine is the UK huge, does it have a problem with blood doping in athletics. Paula was implicated in doping allegations after a leak of blood data to The Sunday Times. She vehemently denied the allegations and was cleared by the International Association for Athletics Federation (IAAF). The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and UK Anti-Doping, following the accusations and rumors, remarked they had no evidence of doping and wrongdoings against the women’s marathon world record-holder.

Reacting to Paula’s call for an apology, Norman said no apology is required since he was not naming Paula. Norman added he thinks it is a terrible shame that her name was linked with the hearing and I am amongst millions of people in this country who has nothing but admiration for the sporting achievements linked to her name. Norman was however to say he was “sorry” if his actions had results in Paula Radcliffe being linked with the athletics’ blood doping scandal. Norman remarked he was perfectly happy to say that he is sorry to hear about what has happened and he is sorry it has been taken in this way. Norman also went on to say that what he does think is a pity, and what he had not realized at the time, was that Radcliffe had been pursued by people in and outside the sport on this issue beforehand, and that may have been why the link was made, but it had nothing to do with him. Norman also said he was not able to name any other winners or medalists of the London marathon.

Paula Radcliffe, who won the 10,000 meters silver medal at the 1999 World Championships and was the 2002 Commonwealth champion at 5000 meters, has earned her a number of accolades including the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Laureus World Comeback of the Year, IAAF World Athlete of the Year, AIMS World Athlete of the Year (three times), and a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Paula was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

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