The world governing body of athletics, the IAAF, has given a clean chit to Paula Radcliffe of any blood doping. The IAAF said it is shocked that the 41-year-old three-time London Marathon winner and the current marathon world record holder should have been publicly accused.
Radcliffe went public to defend her name after she was effectively identified by a committee of MPs as having provided suspicious blood samples. The IAAF, in its response to the House of Commons culture, media and sport (CMS) select committee, remarked there were innocent reasons for the values in the blood profile of Paula Radcliffe as follow-up tests on urine and blood samples all proved negative. In September this year, Radcliffe said she felt forced to come out to defend her name.
In a statement, the IAAF said Paula Radcliffe was hounded remorselessly in the media for several weeks until she felt she had no option but to go public in her own defense. The statement also said the circumstances in which Radcliffe came to be publicly accused are truly shocking and it was also said that Paula has been publicly accused of blood doping based on the gross misinterpretation of raw and incomplete data.
The IAAF also said in the statement that Radcliffe should never have been forced to come out and defend herself against such insinuations and it was further added that when all of the necessary information is considered, however (as the World Anti-Doping Agency athlete biological passport protocols require), there are clearly plausible explanations for the values in her profile that are entirely innocent. It was also added that the data therefore provides no basis whatsoever for the insinuations made against her
Earlier this year, German broadcaster ARD and the Sunday Times claimed that the world governing body of athletics had not followed up on the suspicious tests. In reply to the claims, the IAAF said the samples in two of the cases highlighted by the Sunday Times were collected immediately after competition (when dehydration causes a decrease in plasma concentration, and so an increase in reported hemoglobin concentration, even though there has been no increase in red blood cells). The IAAF also defended its stance by remarking that any competent scientist would therefore immediately conclude that they should be disregarded and also said furthermore, the IAAF followed up by testing Radcliffe’s urine samples for Recombinant Erythropoietin (rEPO), and her blood samples for evidence of blood transfusions, and all of those tests came back negative.
The world governing body of athletics also said it had screened approximately 8,000 blood samples for potential markers of blood doping. The athletics' governing body added it followed up with thousands of urine tests to detect the presence of rEPO that has led to 145 athletes being caught with the blood doping agent in their systems. The IAAF also commented that the World Anti-Doping Agency and Dick Pound, the chair of its independent commission, have also stated clearly and unequivocally that ‘no test data derived from the IAAF database prior to the adoption of the ABP in 2009' can be considered to be proof of doping.