Powell slams world record rewrite plans
LONDON: Long jump world record-holder Mike Powell said plans to rewrite world records set before 2005 are “a slap in the face” and vowed on Wednesday to fight the move.
European Athletics have proposed that only world records that stand up to strict criteria should be recognised in order to make a clean break with the sport’s doping scandals.
Powell, who jumped 8.95 metres in August 1991, said the proposals were “disrespectful, an injustice and a slap in the face.”
“I’ve already contacted my attorney,” the American, 53, told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“There are some records out there that are kind of questionable, I can see that, but mine is the real deal. It’s a story of human heart and guts, one of the greatest moments in the sport’s history.
“They would be destroying so many things with this decision, without thinking about it. It’s wrong. Regardless of what happens, I am going to fight.”
Under the proposals, world records will only stand if set at approved international events and if the athletes concerned had undergone a certain number of doping tests prior to competing.
The plans are due to be considered by world governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in July.
“It’s important we have this discussion,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe told BBC London.
“I spend a lot of time with athletes and they have all been talking to me for years about some of the records on the books. So I welcome the debate.
“There has to be a debate and these proposals will come back to the (IAAF) council and I look forward to, maybe, counter-proposals. I do think we have to start somewhere.”
Powell set his world record during a thrilling contest with his United States teammate Carl Lewis at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.
He broke Bob Beamon’s mark of 8.90m, which stood for 23 years. AFP