Author Topic: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?  (Read 11164 times)

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2015, 07:16:45 pm »
Of course cyclists have never denounced doping while doing so themselves.

I'm rather suspicious of her holding three minutes over the best Kenyans who, themselves, are widely suspected of doping.  I'd love to give Paula the benefit of the doubt but, as the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true..
So how would you define a "Sporting Great"? Someone who is the best, but not by some Tewdric-defined margin that is "too good to be true" ?!?

(this could get like code-breaking - if you have a massive advantage over the enemy,  be careful not to rub their nose in it :P )

aka "The Sergei Bubka Ultimatum".  Bubka knew he could annihilate the world record but took care to do so in small increments so as to attract more appearance money.
Yelena Isinbayeva. Broken world records 28 times. IIRC, often when there was a big cash prize offered for a new record.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2015, 07:28:32 pm »
I suspect that there is rarely, at any specific moment, one competitor in his/her field who is clearly the best in the world.
Very true.

But when someone knocks 3 minutes off a 2-hour-something record, and it remains totally out of reach for 12 years, that IS one of those rare occasions.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2015, 07:32:40 pm »
In a rare moment of talking sense Bernie Ecclestone once said that there could be a million Michael Schumachers in rural China but as long as they're riding bicycles rather than driving racing cars we'll never know.
Well yes, ... sort of ...

They are only _potential_ Michael Schumachers. Its also probably true to say there are quite a few elite athletes who could be world champs in a different sport - had they gone down that path.
But sport is about beating everyone else that bothers to turn up*. that is very much a key part!


*not to mention making the necessary sacrifices ... etc ...
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2015, 07:33:14 pm »
Daughters boyfriend is/was a university rugby player, and was scouted for various teams as well as - strangely - weightlifting. Trains seriously now but not for pro sport.
Anecdotal but he reckons a huge number of the 'elite athletes' he trains with in various gyms and teams are on the juice, and that it is actually just normalised behaviour for serious sportspeople who take competition seriously and want to win.
Of course such anecdota is meaningless but it supports my own view that sport, even at amateur levels, once serious, is a business in which winning is the goal and the end justifies the means.
I would certainly have juiced even as a Mamil racer if only I had followed up on forays into coaching, but hadn't got the underlying ability nor the easy access/funds.
I think the  'clean sport' idea is a sort of idealistic fantasy projected by believers in an ideal onto people who earn a living by winning and need to do whatever is needed to win. Supported by the businesses that use that ideal to sell stuff to the believers of course.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2015, 07:47:07 pm »
Whilst I remain hugely sceptical about the cleanliness of athletics, or even most sports, I think the occasional "out of the blue" performance is certainly possible.  As mrcharly has said, Paula Radcliffe's improvements were incremental and she didn't suddenly become so fast.  I think you can have a day when "it all just comes together".  Unfortunately, for many, this may happen in training, rather than in an event.  I have my own little example:  before my kneee finally succumbed to an old rugby injury, I used to be a keen and reasonable, if unremarkable runner.  I had a hilly training loop which used to take me about 36 minutes, depending on the conditions underfoot.  I always ran it as hard as I could.  One day, I'd had some particularly good news and, elated, I went out for my loop.  I ran 3 minutes (nearly 9%) faster than ever before.  I never got near that again.

I continue to believe that remarkable performances are possible, without assistance.  I continue to believe that Paula is not the greatest distance runner there has been up to now.

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2015, 10:37:26 pm »
I don't trust the doctors she keeps using. It would be interesting to know her current and past blood values, now she will no longer be racing.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/33990503

"Keep blood data private"
To be clear though, she is backing the anti-doping agencies stance.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2015, 11:43:23 pm »
To be clear though, she is backing the anti-doping agencies stance.

True, but rumours abound about a retired marathon runner and a superinjunction...

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2015, 12:48:54 am »
LWaB may have hit the nail on the head earlier. There is much talk of Paula being the one with 'suspicious' blood values. Her 2:15 marathon time is better than qu junxia's 1500 wr, which was not believed clean and has only recently been broken (actually pretty well taken apart) by Genuine Dibaba. The records in women's athletics are by and large a long way out of reach of current, more scientifically trained, athletes and Paula's is the best. That has to raise questions.

I hope that she is clean, but if not I hope it comes out soon and those of us that doubt, but want to give the benefit, are given a straight answer. The backlash could well be worse than Lance.

For what it's worth, I think that athletics currently, probably, has a more widespread and deeper doping culture than cycling..

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2015, 12:53:03 am »
Should have added, if she was clean she is genuinely a great. Her best times are far ahead of anyone else. The 4th fastest time ever, and first not set by Paula was 2:18:xx by Limit Shobukova, and that has recently been removed on the basis of biological passport evidence of doping.

This is why there are doubts.

Are you looking forward to Gatling vs Bolt...

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2015, 02:32:08 am »
Are you looking forward to Gatling vs Bolt...

In an arms race I'll take a machine gun over a crossbow any day.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2015, 01:18:59 pm »
To be clear though, she is backing the anti-doping agencies stance.

True, but rumours abound I am helping spread the rumour  about a retired marathon runner and a superinjunction...

FTFY !
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2015, 11:48:42 am »
In a rare moment of talking sense Bernie Ecclestone once said that there could be a million Michael Schumachers in rural China but as long as they're riding bicycles rather than driving racing cars we'll never know.
Mark Twain, IIRC, had a short story where a man newly arrived in heaven sees a parade of the greatest military leaders. Those at the front are people he has never heard of, the equivalent of Mr L's cycling Chinese, who never had a chance to demonstrate their greatness.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2015, 12:55:17 pm »
In a rare moment of talking sense Bernie Ecclestone once said that there could be a million Michael Schumachers in rural China but as long as they're riding bicycles rather than driving racing cars we'll never know.
Given that he's taken his coat and presumably left the thread, I think I can safely point out that I've checked a few rural Chinese phone directories and suspect that the number of Michael Schumachers to be a lot less than that.

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2015, 04:46:18 pm »
Paula Radcliffe 'categorically denies' cheating

Dejavu.

Following updates on this thread, I looked into womens marathon times and records of her performances.  Unbelievable.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2015, 06:42:24 pm »
Unbelievable.
Because?

Don't leave us guessing!
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2015, 10:29:17 pm »
Correct me if I'm wrong but I seem to remember something about Chinese distance athletes getting times that were significantly faster than others were getting. They then disappeared but never failed any tests. Commentators during a race talked about the female runner being on target for a fast time but nowhere near the wr. He said it was a disgrace the wr still.stood because it couldn't be beaten by the other clean athletes. IIRC it was a 5k or other distance track event and Radcliffe was competing bravely. It was about the time of her protest I reckon.

I only mention the above because now we're talking about Radcliffe's time being so much better than every other runner's times. What is really the difference? Perhaps she was clean, perhaps not but very clever about it. I prefer the clean option.

BTW if she had a progression to this time that doesn't rule out cheating just that cheating (if she was) resulted in a gradual improvement that kept going beyond what her clean self would have managed. Smooth improvement but doesn't mean she must be clean, just clever about cheating. Note I think she was clean and will keep that thought until proven otherwise.

BTW Michael Johnson got a wr so much better than his opponents were capable of. His record stood for a very long time. That didn't mean he must have cheated at the time. The long jump wr lasted a long time. Indeed many other wr in sports have stood for some time. That alone doesn't mean they're all cheats.

IMHO Radcliffe isn't great just good in her event in her time. Her world best time (can't be a world record because each marathon route varies due to ascent, etc) will be beaten no doubt in s few years, even if it's longer doesn't make her great imho.

I only hold the title of great for very few people. Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent, Hoy,  Wiggins, Michael Johnson, Ed Moses, Pele, etc are some I'll accept the title of great about. Radcliffe hasn't won everything in her peak competing time,  she's never dominated her event completely for many years and just one truly impressive race that has put the event WL so far out of the current competitors reach for a bit doesn't make her a great imho. I still greatly admire her record, performances and attitude to races. One hero indeed but no great.

PS just heard BBC news had a piece on that parliamentary.committee where doubts on her were expressed using parliamentary privilege to prevent legal action. She's released a 1700 word response.


Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2015, 11:17:56 pm »
I'd forgotten about the swimmers, but it's Ma Junren's runners on the "shrooms and turtle blood diet" diet that sprung to mind.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2015, 11:26:06 pm »
Correct me if I'm wrong but I seem to remember something about Chinese distance athletes getting times that were significantly faster than others were getting. They then disappeared but never failed any tests. The chinese claimed they were eating 'caterpillar fungus. The general view was EPO and no testing. Lance never failed any tests. WADA admits that they miss most dopers. Testing is actually carried out by the national federations, hence some countries give their athletes an easy ride - historically these have included China, East Germany, Kenya, Jamaica and pre 88 Olympics USA (where positive results were used to warn competitors that they might test positive!)Commentators during a race talked about the female runner being on target for a fast time but nowhere near the wr. He said it was a disgrace the wr still.stood because it couldn't be beaten by the other clean athletes. IIRC it was a 5k or other distance track event and Radcliffe was competing bravely. It was about the time of her protest I reckon.The protest was against Yegarova. Paula wasn't competing in that race. If you look at female WRs most of them have stood, completely unthreatened for a long time. It raises suspicions now if anyone gets close - not an allegation, but look up womens 1500m times and think about how Genzebe Dibaba shattered a, presumed, drug enhanced WR that no else has got near.

I only mention the above because now we're talking about Radcliffe's time being so much better than every other runner's times. What is really the difference? Perhaps she was clean, perhaps not but very clever about it. I prefer the clean option.I'd like her to be clean, but the difference to the nearest clean runner is staggering - see my comments above.

BTW if she had a progression to this time that doesn't rule out cheating just that cheating (if she was) resulted in a gradual improvement that kept going beyond what her clean self would have managed. Smooth improvement but doesn't mean she must be clean, just clever about cheating. AgreeNote I think she was clean and will keep that thought until proven otherwise.

BTW Michael Johnson got a wr so much better than his opponents were capable of. His record stood for a very long time. That didn't mean he must have cheated at the time. The long jump wr lasted a long time. Indeed many other wr in sports have stood for some time. That alone doesn't mean they're all cheats.Agree, but that's why anyone shown to cheat must be dealt with. The doubt now sticks to all and they likely deprive clean athletes of income and fame

IMHO Radcliffe isn't great just good in her event in her time. Her world best time (can't be a world record because each marathon route varies due to ascent, etc) will be beaten no doubt in s few years, even if it's longer doesn't make her great imho.The problem is that her wr may beyond even the clean female outliers and so not be broken.

I only hold the title of great for very few people. Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent, Hoy,  Wiggins, Michael Johnson, Ed Moses, Pele, etc are some I'll accept the title of great about. Radcliffe hasn't won everything in her peak competing time,  she's never dominated her event completely for many years and just one truly impressive race that has put the event WL so far out of the current competitors reach for a bit doesn't make her a great imho. She holds the fastest times in history - 3 or 4 plus several others and people don't race a lot of marathonsI still greatly admire her record, performances and attitude to races. One hero indeed but no great.

PS just heard BBC news had a piece on that parliamentary.committee where doubts on her were expressed using parliamentary privilege to prevent legal action. She's released a 1700 word response.

To be clear, I hope she was clean but have to have some doubt. It's a bit like Usain Bolt - there is bolt, then there are a group of others then a third group. All the second group are tainted - Bolt is the only untainted 100m runner down to about the 31st or 32nd fastest time ever run and the WR holder. Possible, but you have to look at it in a questioning manner.

With Paula, the thing that makes me wonder is that she went after athletes who were suspect (Yegarova etc). Lance only went after people who accused him. I find it hard to comprehend that behaviour if she was dirty, but some clarity would be good.

Also worth noting her response tot he Sunday Times when challenged - 'I'll sue you and, unlike with Lance, you won't be getting any of it back' (paraphrase - look up Paul Kimmage on Twitter)

Mike

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2015, 09:31:41 am »
Nope, it was a track event that the commentator questioned how they could let the existing WR stand because it was so far clear of what other athletes managed. I'm certain it was a Chinese athlete too but that was many years ago so my memory could be faulty over nationality. The main point was a clear record cast doubts back then just as it does now, but that doesn't prove bb7 anything. Without proof things have to stand, even enhanced records as distasteful as that may be.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2015, 10:14:37 am »
To be clear, I hope she was clean but have to have some doubt. It's a bit like Usain Bolt - there is bolt, then there are a group of others then a third group. All the second group are tainted - Bolt is the only untainted 100m runner down to about the 31st or 32nd fastest time ever run and the WR holder. Possible, but you have to look at it in a questioning manner.

With Paula, the thing that makes me wonder is that she went after athletes who were suspect (Yegarova etc). Lance only went after people who accused him. I find it hard to comprehend that behaviour if she was dirty, but some clarity would be good.

Also worth noting her response tot he Sunday Times when challenged - 'I'll sue you and, unlike with Lance, you won't be getting any of it back' (paraphrase - look up Paul Kimmage on Twitter)

Mike
The trouble with this view - which is not entirely unreasonable, in terms of gut feelings - is that a clean athlete is stuffed both ways.

- If they lose - well tough, don't whine about it. (should have cheated!)
- If they win - they have to avoid some undefined criteria of being just too good. Otherwise people like yourself will keep expressing doubt. And don't forget it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove yourself clean. Just impossible.

Can you actually say what an athlete has to do to meet your standards?

[sorry to be so arsey about this, but this is the crux of the matter!]
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2015, 06:19:15 pm »
To be clear, I hope she was clean but have to have some doubt. It's a bit like Usain Bolt - there is bolt, then there are a group of others then a third group. All the second group are tainted - Bolt is the only untainted 100m runner down to about the 31st or 32nd fastest time ever run and the WR holder. Possible, but you have to look at it in a questioning manner.

With Paula, the thing that makes me wonder is that she went after athletes who were suspect (Yegarova etc). Lance only went after people who accused him. I find it hard to comprehend that behaviour if she was dirty, but some clarity would be good.

Also worth noting her response tot he Sunday Times when challenged - 'I'll sue you and, unlike with Lance, you won't be getting any of it back' (paraphrase - look up Paul Kimmage on Twitter)

Mike
The trouble with this view - which is not entirely unreasonable, in terms of gut feelings - is that a clean athlete is stuffed both ways.

- If they lose - well tough, don't whine about it. (should have cheated!)
- If they win - they have to avoid some undefined criteria of being just too good. Otherwise people like yourself will keep expressing doubt. And don't forget it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove yourself clean. Just impossible.

Can you actually say what an athlete has to do to meet your standards?

[sorry to be so arsey about this, but this is the crux of the matter!]


I get this and agree, it's rubbish. The clean athlete gets stuffed every which way. But it's because there are enough people that will cheat and the incentives are so great that they do, not because us non-elite decide not to suspend disbelief. When enough cheat then they don't even think that it's cheating anymore - see Lance - or they conclude that it's only cheating if you (do enough to) get caught.

If there were no voices calling for clean sport and, consequently raising doubt, then there would be no real incentive for the governing organisations to test at all - athletics income, to some extent, relies on record breaking. The difficulty is that doping is actually much easier to do than to detect with sufficient certainty. Blood doping is much harder to reliably identify than finding traces of Stanozolol or Nandrolone in the subject's urine because there is variation for all sorts of valid reasons.

This operates on a group of people that are all, by definition, all outliers. Potential WR winners are quite probably less predictable and normalised than the wider population. Each is 'the outlier' in their event. So suspicion or doubt is natural and reasonable, but not proof, and  it's not so much what does an athlete need to do to meet my standards. I just want them to compete clean and fairly and to be confident that the culture of the game and testing regimes mean that I know what I am watching.

So, probably not really disagreeing at all.

Mike

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2015, 06:24:54 pm »
Weasel words from MP Jesse Norman http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34195458. It was quite clear from his statement who he was implicating and to say otherwise today is disingenuous.

I'm guessing that "parliamentary privilege" means he can't be sued under the terms of a superinjunction, but I hope Paula goes after The Sunday Times. If she wins she won't have to pay it back in 10-years time like Larry did (like Mike, I also enjoyed a wry smile at Kimmage's tweet).

Actually, Paul's tweeted that she doesn't have any kind of injunction. It would be a bit ironic if all the references were to someone else...

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #48 on: November 05, 2015, 12:43:29 am »
Not directly related to Paula, but this seems the best place to post these links about the IAAF's latest woes

Lamine Diack arrested on corruption charges
http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/04/lamine-diack-investigation-iaaf-corruption-doping

IAAF doctor and doping cover ups
http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/dec/11/iaafs-most-senior-anti-doping-official-dr-gabriel-dolle-leaves-job

Not surprising, but still drives me mad

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #49 on: November 05, 2015, 01:06:21 pm »
Don't expect it to get any better with Seb Coe as the president of the IAAF.