Athletics

Farah asks for athletes to have the final say on releasing blood data

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Mo Farah has no regrets about making blood data public to prove he is running clean amid recent doping allegations, but insists the decision to release the information must remain an athlete's personal choice.

Farah's former Great Britain team-mate Paula Radcliffe said this week that pressure to follow suit was "almost abuse" as she responded to what she believed was her implication in ongoing doping allegations which have engulfed athletics.

She has not taken the opportunity to make her full data available to all, whereas Farah, who will defend his Great North Run title on Sunday, was joined by European Championship bronze medallist Jo Pavey and a number of other high-profile British athletes in releasing their equivalent information last month.

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But barring three test results reported by Sky News - all of which were above what are considered to be average levels but which came with what she insisted are extenuating circumstances - Radcliffe's statistics remain private.

Farah said: "I think it's up to each athlete to do what they feel comfortable with. Myself and Jo, we felt comfortable. But it depends on who you are and how comfortable you are. For me it was a way of showing the critics I have nothing to hide."

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Farah's response was echoed by Pavey, who emphasised Radcliffe's right to choose while also making clear her own support for "greater transparency" in the sport which would ensure blood data was available as a matter of course.

Pavey said: ''I was very keen to release my blood data because I was keen to facilitate transparency within the sport and I didn't see any reason why I should not do so.

''I thought it was a proactive step towards that transparency. You don't want all these things shrouded in secrecy and to that extent it should be encouraged.

''But I can only speak for myself. It should be a personal decision and people shouldn't be put under pressure to do it one way or the other.''

Radcliffe went public to state her innocence in the wake of comments made by Conservative MP Jesse Norman during a Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing with UK Anti-Doping chief David Kenworthy earlier this week.

The results obtained by Sky News showed three ''off-scores'' of 114.86, 109.86 and 109.3. Scores above 103 by a female athlete can be regarded as ''suspicious'', but training at altitude and tests taken immediately after a race can cause higher results.

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Topics:
Paula Radcliffe
Athletics
Commonwealth Games
Mo Farah

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