US officials want study of world records proposal
of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body, did not start storing blood and urine samples until 2005, meaning records set before then could potentially be at risk.
“Any action pertaining to records, from ‘retirement’ of records to changing criteria for the record books, has the potential to affect records that are clean as well as those that are tainted,” USA Track & Field (USATF) spokeswoman Jill Geer said in a statement on Tuesday.
“There is no perfect solution, just as there is no perfect antidoping system.”
The proposal could potentially see British marathoner Paula Radcliffe, a vocal critic of drug use in athletics, and triple jumper Jonathan Edwards lose their records since performances not meeting the proposed guidelines would no longer be officially sanctioned but would remain on the “all-time list.”
Paula, whose mark was set in 2003, has branded the proposal “cowardly.”
“I am hurt and do feel this damages my reputation and dignity,” she said in a statement on Twitter.
Mike Powell’s 1991 long jump mark and Hichman El Guerrouj’s 1,500m record from 1998 also would be under threat.
There is no suggestion that any took drugs.
The IAAF are expected to discuss the idea at their August council meeting and Jill said they would also talk about the proposal with their athletes and other athletics bodies.
“USATF will vet the matter with our athletes, fellow federations and the IAAF,” Jill added.
“Ultimately, it is a matter for the IAAF family to examine and determine what is best for the integrity of the past, present and future of the sport on a global level.” Reuters