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banner Wednesday, 1 August, 2001, 22:46 GMT 23:46 UK
Radcliffe backs drugs tests
Paula Radcliffe supports any measures that catch drug cheats
Paula Radcliffe is going for gold in Edmonton
By BBC Sport Online's Tom Fordyce in Edmonton

British women's team captain Paula Radcliffe has backed athletics' latest anti-doping initiative after Russian Olga Yegorova tested positive for the human growth hormone EPO.

"She was caught in an unmarked test and I think that is the way we need to go," said the 10,000m runner.

Radcliffe wears a red ribbon on her vest during races as a symbol of her belief in the mandatory blood testing of athletes.

"I've campaigned to get testing introduced, and if (Yegorova's sample) is positive, it's the first time somebody's been caught," she said.

It's the performances and the training that generate the confidence
  Paula Radcliffe

"We do need to develop that test. The time to do it is at different races all through the season and at competitions."

Radcliffe herself is in exactly the sort of form she had hoped for.

While unhappy memories of World Championship near-misses still linger, she senses that 7 August represents her best chance of a gold medal yet.

"I'm definitely more confident this year," she said.

"I've been happy with the races. I've run this season. I've been finishing faster, from a 64-second last lap down to a 62-second last lap.

"My 3,000m and 1,500m times put me right up there with the best 10,000m girls."

Max Jones, performance director of the British team, believes the signs are good for the 27-year-old from Bedford.


"I've known Paula since she was a junior in 1991, and each year she gets that little bit better." said Jones.

"She's done the same this year. She's peaking well."

Radcliffe is determined to rid herself once and for all of the 'unlucky loser' tag.

Her brave but ultimately unsuccessful front-running efforts at the Olympics last year and at the Worlds in 1999 may have endeared her to the British public, but since that gutsy fourth in Sydney she has begun to rack up the big international titles.

I'm determined to show I can win on the track
  Paula Radcliffe
She took the world half-marathon title by 33 seconds in October last year and followed that up with a stunning win at the World Cross-Country championships in February.

The cross-country was particularly satisfying as she out-sprinted her great Ethiopian rival Gete Wami in the final 50m, reversing the familiar 10,000m pattern of the Briton being out-kicked with the finish line in sight.

"I would have said before that my strength was my stamina, and that I'd always be there with two laps to go." she said.

"So what we've been working on is the speed at the end - and I do feel I'm getting stronger."

This year the British team has enlisted the services of a sports psychologist, but Radcliffe, like many others, lets her feet do the talking.

"It's the performances and the training that generate the confidence," she says.

If you know you've done the work and you're in good shape, then you're confident.

"I'm determined to show I can win on the track - and especially with a sprint finish."

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