An MP accused by British athlete Paula Radcliffe of implicating her in allegations of blood doping has said that was not his intention.
Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee chairman Jesse Norman suggested London Marathon winners and medallists and «potentially, British athletes» were under suspicion.
Radcliffe, 41, was not named but said she «categorically denies» cheating.
Mr Norman said his comments were «taken out of context».
«Nothing could be further from the intention of the committee than to have named any athlete — in fact no names were given, no allegations were made, no specific athletes were described, no test results were mentioned,» he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
«In a three-hour hearing what has happened is the press pack have basically taken this single snippet and run off to Paula Radcliffe and attempted to bounce her into some kind of statement and I think that’s very unfortunate.»
Radcliffe, a three-time London Marathon winner and the only British athlete since 1996 to win the event, issued a statement following the hearing saying she was «devastated» that her name had been «linked to these wide-ranging accusations».
«By linking me to allegations of cheating, damage done to my name and reputation can never be fully repaired, no matter how untrue I know them to be,» she said.
She said it was «profoundly disappointing that the cloak of parliamentary privilege has been used to effectively implicate me».
Radcliffe later tweeted: «No way I can reply to everyone but I am humbled and touched beyond words by everyone’s support. Thank you all.»