In contrast to the recent actions of a few of her country’s most notable track & field stars, marathon world record holder Paula Radliffe of Great Britain told BBC sports editor Dan Roan that athletes shouldn’t reveal their blood data, as Jo Pavey, Lisa Dobriskey and Mo Farah and others did earlier this month.
The 41-year-old Radcliffe, who ran the final marathon of her competitive career in London this past April, said the blood data is complicated and can be misunderstood and misinterpreted by non-experts.
“The key point is you can’t prove you are clean,” Radcliffe explained to BBC Sport. “We don’t have a foolproof, 100 percent testing program in place right now so we can’t prove that. In some sense, what Wada are trying to say is we don’t want this data out there in the public domain because people don’t understand it, it is very complicated. … I think if you put too much of that information in the public domain you risk doing a lot of things, you risk it being misunderstood and misinterpreted, you also risk putting information into the hands of people who are trying to cheat that system and who then are going to learn the information of how to manipulate and how to make sure they stay within this perfect zone and that is not what we want or what it was ever designed to do.”
Radcliffe, who set the still-standing marathon of 2:15:25 at the 2003 London Marathon, has been one of track & field’s strongest anti-doping voices, despite suspicions and accusations that her seemingly untouchable marathon marks were aided by performance-enhancing drugs. She has never failed a drug test.
“The whole point is you go through your career, you look back and say, ‘That was the best I could do,’” Radcliffe told the BBC. “If you take a short cut, you can’t say that. You can’t look yourself in the mirror and say that was the absolute best you were capable of.”