September 9, 2015 / 7:44 PM / in 2 years

Coe to face parliamentary questioning over doping

Newly elected President of International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe listens to a question at a news conference in Beijing, August 19, 2015.Jason Lee

LONDON (Reuters) - IAAF President Sebastian Coe will be called to Britain's parliament to explain his comments that recent media reports on doping were a "declaration of war" on the sport, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

The Sunday Times published data from 5,000 athletes in August, which it said revealed an "extraordinary extent of cheating".

The IAAF called the allegations "sensationalist and confusing" and denied it had failed in its duty to carry out effective blood-testing.

Coe, twice Olympic 1,500 meters champion, was critical of the reports and will be called to the next parliamentary session to explain his position.

"The fightback has to start here," Coe said in the run-up to the IAAF presidential election.

"It is a declaration of war on my sport. There is nothing in our history of competence and integrity in drug testing that warrants this kind of attack," he added.

British marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe on Tuesday accused Member of Parliament Jesse Norman of implicating her in the Sunday Times blood-doping allegations and made a statement saying she never cheated in her career.

Norman said his comments at a select committee were "taken out of context".

The 41-year-old Radcliffe categorically denied any form of cheating after Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee chairman Norman suggested London Marathon winners and "potentially, British athletes" were under suspicion.

Radcliffe was not named but she won the London Marathon three times and is the only British athlete since 1996 to be victorious in the race.

Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Toby Davis

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