Paula Radcliffe drug allegations: is the media to blame for fuelling the fire?

Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee chair Jesse Norman has blamed the media for taking his comments - which were reported as suggesting marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe might have taken performance enhancing drugs - out of context.

Front pages: Many papers led with the Radcliffe story
Front pages: Many papers led with the Radcliffe story

Norman was speaking to the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning. Yesterday, Radcliffe released a 1,700-word statement to "categorically" deny any allegations of doping following Norman's comments in the committee meeting the same day.

Norman said: "Nothing could be further from the intention of the committee than to have named any athlete - in fact, no names were given, no allegations were made, no specific athletes were described, no test results were mentioned," he told Radio 4.

"In a three-hour hearing, what has happened is the press pack have basically taken this single snippet and run off to Paula Radcliffe and attempted to bounce her into some kind of statement and I think that's very unfortunate."

Some media and PR professionals have suggested the reverse; that Radcliffe's lengthy statement itself fuelled the fire for the national press, leading to the high-profile coverage of the story.

Radcliffe has continued to defend her reputation, giving interviews with ITV and Sky News, the latter during which she said that staying silent was no longer an option.

The retired runner has since commented further on Twitter.

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