altSEPTEMBER 4 - UK ATHLETICS has hit back in the row with Olympic runner Kate Reed (pictured) that is becoming increasingly bitter.


As reported on insidethegames on Tuesday, the Bristol runner claimed that as well as being forced to undergo a fitness test on the eve of her appearance in the 10,000 metres in the Bird's Nest Stadium she was forced to take a drugs test because UK Athletics officials feared she might have been taking doping illegally.


UK Athletics, who originally did not comment on Reed's allegations, have now released a statement.


It said: "In regard to this athlete, there was huge disappointment among the British Olympic Association (BOA) and UK Athletics (UKA) medical staff in the suggestion of a lack of support given in media interviews by the athlete after the 10,000m final in Beijing.


"Although she is not a funded member of the UK Athletics World Class Performance Programme (UKA WCPP), the athlete was awarded a 'BOA passport' which enabled her to access the support of doctors, physiotherapists, soft tissue therapists and sport scientists at the Olympic Medical Institute, free use of selected gyms around the UK and assistance with transport in the months leading up to Beijing.


"The athlete indeed made extensive use of these services before departing for Macau.


"In addition she was also lent the attentions on numerous occasions by the UK Athletics endurance medical officer at the UK Athletics Endurance Centre at St Mary’s College, Twickenham, again despite not being a member of the UKA WCPP.


"On arrival at the BOA Holding Camp in Macau, different members of the medical team felt they were being given different descriptions of her injury symptoms.


"Her injury presentation was complex and descriptions of her injury symptoms varied from day to day.


"This inconsistency made her a particularly difficult patient to treat.


"The medical team dedicated a significant amount of time to this athlete including ultrasound scans by the BOA musculoskeletal radiologist in Macau on more than one occasion and an MRI scan before departing for Beijing.


"On arrival in Beijing, there was still great uncertainty about whether the athlete would be able to compete.


"Indeed even at that point she was unable to run properly unless barefoot on grass and was unable to hop on one leg, such was the severity of her injury.


"Just two days before the 10,000m final on Wednesday 12 August, she intimated to at least two members of the medical staff that she might take morphine to kill the pain.


"It should be noted that this substance is on the banned list for in-competition testing.


"Both members of the medical team independently interpreted her comments to mean that she had morphine in her possession.


"Also, it should be noted that despite being asked on several occasions throughout the trip to declare her full range of medications, as is the norm, the athlete had failed to do so.


"As a consequence of these comments and actions, and taking into consideration that possessing a banned substance is a drugs offence under IOC (International Olympic Committee) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) rules and that possessing morphine is illegal in China, the Chef de Mission on Thursday 13 August agreed that the Team GB security officer and an independent female witness accompanied the athlete to search her room for any banned substances or medications.


"Fortunately no such items were discovered.


"Following discussions between UKA and the Chef de Mission, it was agreed that the athlete should undertake a doping test and her fitness be confirmed to alleviate further concerns.


"The format of the fitness test - a 2,000m track session to be run at a 50 per cent of B standard pace as is highlighted in the selection criteria - was discussed and agreed with the athlete, her coach and Team GB medical staff.


"The athlete was given a pain-killing injection by the UKA medical officer to see if this would enable her to run.


"The test, during which she had to be asked by her coach to slow down on more than one occasion, was passed successfully and it was agreed that the athlete would be able to run the 10,000m final on Friday 14 August.


"It should be noted that the athlete would have been in no fit state to compete had it not been for the huge amount of medical support from UKA and the BOA in the weeks and months leading up to this date.


"There is little doubt this was far from ideal preparation, but much of these actions could have been avoided had the athlete been as open, honest and as professional as the medical staff involved throughout.


"Had the doping test, the room search and physical test not taken place to satisfy the various concerns around this case, Team GB would have been sending an athlete to the start line of an Olympic final with serious uncertainties and grave doubts.


"At best, the athlete could have been causing herself serious long-term physical damage and at worst, may have been competing under the influence of illegal substances.


"Quite simply, this was a risk that both the BOA and UKA were unwilling to take."


Reed, who finished 23rd in the 10,000m final, has disputed much of what UK Athletics claim


She said: "I arrived at the hotel [in Beijing] at 6pm.


"At 7pm I had a meeting where I declared my medications.


"Dr Bruce Hamilton, my coach Alan Storey, lead physio Neil Black and massage therapist Paula Clayton were all present.


"I was in there for an hour, so it was pretty thorough. I went down to things like Bonjela.


"They are not even a banned substance."


Reed also claimed that her comments about taking morphine were just a joke among fellow athletes.


She said: "I was not aware there were two medics there.


"We were just having a joke about my leg.


"I asked for a jab and we joked about taking morphine.


"It was said in jest.


"You would have to be rather stupid to [think] I wasn't joking.


"It wasn't until the next day at 10am that I was accused of carrying [morphine].


"And I had not even said that in the first place.


"The doctor [Paul Dijkstra] said he was in the room with me and Neil and said he overheard it.


"I said, 'For God's sake, it was hardly a sensible conversation and why didn't you ask me at the time?'"


This is not the first controversy that Reed has been involved in.


She left her under former coach David Farrow in controversial circumstances that were never fully explained and last November the Sunday Mirror claimed that she was having a relationship with Storey, her coach who is also the senior performance manager for endurance at UK Athletics.