Pow­ell slams world record re­write plans

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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