LONDON (AP) Marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe believes the devastating exposure of state-sponsored doping by Russia send a timely warning to athletes thinking of cheating at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics that they will be caught.
A World Anti-Doping Agency commission report published Monday accused Russia on Monday of complicity in widespread doping and cover-ups, with the country's athletics federation facing being banned from international competition, including the Olympics.
''The positive fact that it is coming to light before the Olympics next year,'' Radcliffe told The Associated Press on Monday. ''This is showing if you think you can get away with it, you can't ... however much it is embedded now almost on a systemic level it can be exposed and the truth will come out.''
The investigation, chaired by International Olympic Committee veteran Dick Pound, found that 1,417 doping control samples were destroyed at a Moscow testing laboratory to deny evidence for the inquiry. Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, was also accused of spying on Moscow's anti-doping lab.
''I was devastated and shocked at the level and the depth and audacity that people thought they could get away with this, and they have got away with it for so long,'' Radcliffe said.
''I was angry on behalf of my sport because of the damage that has been done to athletics.''
Radcliffe hopes the report is the starting point to ''restoring faith'' in athletics and ensuring ''that right of every athlete to compete on a level playing field'' without the finger of suspicion pointing at them.
''I have a lot of faith that the vast majority of athletes out there are clean, are working very hard and have had chances to win medals, chances to stand on the top of rostrum and get in medal ceremonies taken away from them by athletes who are cheating - and that has to stop,'' Radcliffe said.
''I also believe that I was able to beat athletes who probably were cheating.''
The three-time London Marathon winner was speaking two months after she denied using performance-enhancing drugs after her name was linked to allegations of blood doping. Angered by the initial reporting of the leak of blood-testing data, Radcliffe said there were no ''abnormalities'' in her results despite ''fluctuations.''
The WADA panel is expected to report within several weeks on its examination of a German documentary's investigation into the leaked IAAF database of confidential blood test results.
''I know the truth wasn't told about me,'' Radcliffe said. ''I confidence that the truth has always been there and will come out.''