Euro­pean chief ac­knowl­edges mixed re­ac­tions to rad­i­cal plan

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PARIS: Euro­pean ath­let­ics pres­i­dent Svein Arne Hansen ac­cepted on Tues­day re­ac­tion to the rad­i­cal plan to wipe out ex­ist­ing Euro­pean and world records has been “mixed.”

Un­der the pro­posal put for­ward to ath­let­ics gov­ern­ing body the IAAF all records set be­fore a date that has yet to be de­fined will re­main but only on a list of old records.

The project is part of Euro­pean Ath­let­ics’ drive to set a clean slate in the fight against dop­ing.

Among its fiercest crit­ics is long jump world record-holder Mike Pow­ell.

The Amer­i­can, who jumped 8.95 me­tres in Au­gust 1991, at­tacked the plan as “dis­re­spect­ful, an in­jus­tice and a slap in the face.”

An­other arch critic of the plan which was unan­i­mously ap­proved by the Euro­pean Ath­let­ics Coun­cil on May 1 was Bri­tain’s Paul Rad­cliffe.

Paula, who ran a women’s marathon world record time of 2hr 15min 25sec in 2003, said the idea was “cow­ardly” and could “dam­age her rep­u­ta­tion and dig­nity.”

Hansen in a state­ment con­firmed the record-wip­ing plan and other pro­pos­als “to re­store the cred­i­bil­ity of Euro­pean and world records” were now un­der con­sid­er­a­tion with the IAAF.

He said he wel­comed the de­bate the record-wip­ing plan has gen­er­ated.

“As might have been ex­pected, the re­ac­tions have been mixed,” Hansen com­mented.

“The most con­tro­versy comes from some of the cur­rent record hold­ers who, of course, would be per­son­ally af­fected by the pro­posed re­as­sign­ment of record recog­ni­tion. We must be aware of and sym­pa­thetic to their con­cerns.”

He in­vited ath­letes and other “stake­hold­ers” to sub­mit their thoughts to an email ad­dress set up for the con­sul­ta­tion process (record­sre­view@euro­pean-ath­let­

“If new ideas or bet­ter ap­proaches emerge they should be con­sid­ered and in­cor­po­rated into the de­bate,” he added.

“Our hope is that in the end the se­lec­tion of the way for­ward will be based on calm con­sid­er­a­tion, ra­tio­nal ar­gu­ments and a con­sen­sus on what is best for all ath­letes and the sport as a whole.”

IAAF pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Coe backs the plan.

“There will be ath­letes, cur­rent record hold­ers, who will feel that the his­tory we are re­cal­i­brat­ing will take some­thing away from them but I think this is a step in the right di­rec­tion and if or­gan­ised and struc­tured prop­erly we have a good chance of win­ning back cred­i­bil­ity in this area,” Coe said ear­lier this month. AFP

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