BBC Breakfast star Louise Minchin reported for cheating during prestigious triathlon race

The presenter and Team GB ­tri­­ath­lete, 49, was reported to ­of­fi­cials by a competitor who said she got unfair help from another cyclist.

Louise — who is plugging a book about her life as a triathlete — spoke about the Snowdonia event in a TV chat with co-host Dan Walker.

The fuming triathlete slammed Louise for receiving help in a prestigious race — and told her: “You cheated!”

The breakfast host was cycling in the gruelling Slateman event in Snowdonia when a woman was said to have appeared “from nowhere” and pedalled inches in front of her, cutting wind resistance.

The tactic, called drafting, was said to have handed her a huge advantage in the race.

But another woman who did the 1,000m open-water swim, 32-mile road ride and 6.8-mile run through slate quarries hit out last night.

The 35-year-old said: “It’s a hard race. During the cycling I feel like I’m dying. Louise is making out she’s done this super-duper thing and it makes me mad.

“She’s lied to people a little bit.” The woman said she saw Sam­antha Gardiner — a Team GB age group triathlete — riding close to Louise for five to six miles and told them: “You can’t do that!”

Afterwards she said she saw Louise being interviewed and was urged by her husband to report her, only to find others had pointed it out.

The woman said: “Louise saw me talking to the rep and came over. I said, ‘You cheated’. She said, ‘Well, I didn’t really because I didn’t know she was going to be there’.

“I said, ‘You had a draft’! She said, ‘I know I had a draft, and I know how it looks but I didn’t cheat as it’s not like I cheated to win.”

Louise called the woman yesterday and said Samantha wasn’t a close pal and surprised her in the race.


Some research suggests it can save the second cyclist up to 40 per cent of their energy and cut wind resistance by more than 25 per cent.

In some races, such as the Tour de France, drafting is allowed but in many other events it is considered cheating and is banned.

She said: “Whoever approaches me, I never say p*** off — it’s not my nature. I apologise profusely and it will change the way I race.”

Samantha tweeted a pic of herself with Louise on Monday. She said she “can’t believe” Minchin included her in her book Dare to Tri — My Journey from the BBC Breakfast Sofa to GB Team Triathlete.

Samantha, 47, yesterday denied taking part in the event and denied drafting.

British Triathlon said Louise was not under investigation. She declined to comment last night.

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