On the one hand I think getting rid of the dodgy looking records, especially on the womens side of things, is something that’s long overdue. On the other this looks like it will be too broad a sweep restricting records to only to most recent of competitors, diluting the value of such records by ruling the performances of many genuinely exceptional athletes ineligible.
Long overdue. I said it for years, but said 1989 should be the throw out year, but this is even bolder.
Clean records by Radcliffe, El G, Powell and the like will sadly be erased, but those athletes can still take pride that they were world record holder. Geb’s biggest career boast is that he is a 28 time world record holder, even though most of those records have since been surpassed.
This is a perfect way to reset. Lots of new WR holders. Schippers, Obiri (3K), Barshim, Kiprop, Jelimo, Sanya Richards, many more. Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce will finally have her a WR for the 60m. Genzebe gets the mile, which she probably would have anyway this year. This is good for the sport
Who can be sure those tested records aren’t cheat assisted? Radcliffe and Edwards are both (to my mind anyway) clean, why should they loose their records just because proper testing wasn’t available at that time. Terrible idea in my view. Admittedly I wouldn’t miss some of the eastern block records, but I’m quite capable of sifting through the all time lists and working out who I respect as the true record holder. Non-fans will just be confused.
Maybe two record streams (similar to women only and mixed marathon records) could kept in parallel. One for properly tested athletes and one for not properly tested people. In time all the untested people will drop from the absolute record lists.
MBChristie. We will effectively have 2 streams. The current ones will still be there in history books but going forward new World records have a higher threshold of testing before they will be ratified.
Quite honestly on the women’s side we’re getting rid of far more bad than good. If we have to get rid of the odd clean one to rid the sport of mostly bad ones so be it.
How many Women’s World records do you think are honestly clean? For me there are 3 of which I have any real confidence in. I would be shocked if anyone thinks there are more than 5.
The sport has had it’s head in the sand for too long. Doing nothing & leaving mostly tainted records on the books is not an option.
Is this a perfect solution? No. Will all records set going forward be clean? No But having a higher threshold has to be a good way forward. Having to pass a set number of tests before a record is set including Out of Competition tests has to be a good thing surely.
Good point, but not quite the same. Those that can prove they have been training outside of the corrupt regime are still allowed to compete.And they are not having their performances removed from the books without good reason.
I would also be able to reconcile and accept blanket bans that may be imposed on other non-compliant countries as well. I don’t have a problem with that. Once the corrupted testing issues are resolved the athletes will be able to compete again.
I’m against any retrospective new rules that will remove clean records as well as suspect ones. I don’t think it is the right way forward.
Sorry to disagree with you. I’m sure a lot of people will share your view.
The women’s record book is a shambles. The number of genuinely trustworthy major outdoor World and European records is incredibly small. At the end of the day EAA and IAAF, private organisations, are perfectly entitled to set out its own ratification and recognition criteria, and if others want to continue to mark the ‘historic’ records, that’s fine too. UCI tore up the Hour Record rulebook even though previous records had all been legal at the time; they simply re-instated a new rule, Marked the old record (Chris Boardman’s I think) as “best human effort”, and got on with it.
I think far more important going forward will be the restrictive rules for the setting of ‘world records’ that will make them harder to game, and will allow them to be stripped of cheats going forward; that to me is the big takeaway.
And as for ‘confusing’ – I don’t really see how a ‘clean slate’ is confusing at all – the idea is very simple, and very easy to explain – the record books have lots of dodgy records from before modern era – impossible to separate from the genuine, of which there are some, so authorities have started a new list with a clean slate, and new quite strict requirements. I’m pretty sure more can understand that.
Nobody that is still earning money as a result of their WR will be affected by this. All of them are long retired. Radcliffe earns very well in broadcasting and other avenues.
The only dirty records left are the women’s records set pre-1989 and two Chinese records. And couple of men’s throws. Between’89 and ’05 there were only a few non-Chinese women’s records, unfortunately Paula’s was one of them. Maybe she can track down her blood samples from ’03 and save her record?
The Russian doping scandal of recently didn’t produce a single world record. So that’s moot.
This is a foolproof way to clean it up. Isotope testing is foolproof.
Relating the loss of someone’s clean WR, to the Russians missing Rio, is not a debate I want to get into.
Listening to the news this morning it appears that these proposals are likely to go ahead. I guess I’ll have to get used to the idea , whether I like it or not. According to Darkside Isotope testing is foolproof. So I won’t ever have to worry about ‘fresh’ world records being corrupt. Forgive me if I laugh.
As if so many of the modern times are drug/cheat free. Testing is way behind, just a glance at recent times and people not caught shows what a joke this proposal is. This just means more records for sophisticated modern cheating, so carry on as we are but look like we’ve sorted everything out. Laughable.
If they go ahead with it i hope no-one ever mentions Bannister being first to break 4 minute mile record anymore. That record by implication could no longer be official and will belong to someone from 2005 on, or is it only foreign records that we will really wipe out.
Steve – I think the stipulation that athletes need to have passed a set number of tests including Out of Competition tests before a record is ratified is important.
E.G Ayana, a lot of people raised a lot of eyebrows in Rio. She broke the 10,000 record by a large margin a record most people believe was achieved by doping. If it turns out she wasn’t tested out of competition in the months in the run up to Rio then her record won’t be ratified under the new rules.
I like the report’s thinking in terms of setting a higher ratification standard for European (and by implication if the IAAF follow suit) world records – in fact, I think that’s only sensible. I’d like to see that extended to participation in major games too (at least Area games upwards) so there is a significantly reduced risk of retrospective medal redistribution (providing the testing we have today is “good enough” – perhaps a moot point).
I’m not sure I buy into the retrospective idea though. Suggesting that post 2005 we’ve entered some sort of panacea with regards to testing seems misguided, though perhaps the scientist could convince me otherwise.
But I think those that care about athletics already view some WRs with a “?” next to them, so there isn’t too much point in robbing any clean athletes of their world records (whether they are British, Russian, Turkish or Chinese). Let’s for a minute assume Paula is a clean athlete. Robbing her of her only real achievements (i.e. the times) seems unnecessary when there was just about nothing she could have done in 2003 to foresee how to maintain her world record. Removing any legitimate WR from any single athlete seems wrong to me.
If the IAAF was really bold they could hold a series of secret ballots from their council or a similar body and let them vote on which records, on the balance of probability, deserve ratification. But they won’t do that as it could equally be a PR disaster.