The danger of one inadvertent twitch ruining the greatest day of a sprinter’s life has been removed after athletics’ governing body softened the rules on false starts ahead of the London Olympics.
The little-publicized clarification by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) permits athletes to move in the starting blocks without being disqualified so long as their hands do not leave the ground or their feet the blocks.
Previously, such twitching or flinching could have resulted in disqualification at the discretion of the starter.
“The bottom line is, outside of an athlete removing his hands off the track or his feet leaving the blocks, nothing else is a false start,” David Katz, one of 17 members on the rule-making IAAF technical committee, told Reuters by telephone.
http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/07/ ... -olympics/