Louise Minchin has been forced to address claims she cheated during a triathlon race live on air.

After claims the journalist had an unfair advantage when she took part in the swimming, cycling and running challenge in Snowdonia, Wales on Sunday, the Team GB triathlete was reported to officials by a competitor who said she got unfair help from another cyclist during the race.

And today, as she was going through the papers on BBC Breakfast, she had no choice but to defend herself.

Holding up the newspaper, she said: “And there’s a story about me in The Sun about an incident at a race on Sunday which I talked about British Triathlon, who say I have no case to answer, but I’m the front page, and Meghan [Markle] as well, but we’ll tell you why…”

Louise previously spoke about the Slateman event in Snowdonia on TV with co-host Dan Walker.

She was cycling in the gruelling race when a woman was said to have appeared “from nowhere” and pedalled inches in front of her – a tactic which cuts wind resistance and is known as drafting in the sport.

Another woman who completed the 1,000m open-water swim, 32-mile road ride and 6.8-mile run through slate quarries claimed the manoeuvre gave her a big advantage in the event and accused the TV star of cheating.

She told The Sun: “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 claims she saw Team GB triathlete Samantha Gardiner riding close to Louise for five to six miles.

“You can’t do that!” she told them.

The woman told the paper: “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’.”