Task force is appointed to examine credibility of European records

A seven-member group has been announced to lead a European Athletics task force which will examine the credibility of all European records.

The European Athletics Executive Board, led by president Svein Arne Hansen, appointed the task force to be chaired by Ireland’s Pierce O’Callaghan, who is a member of the European Athletics and IAAF competition commissions. Members are Britain’s Bill Glad, Germany’s Dr Clemens Prokop, Italy’s Gianni Merlo, Finland’s Mirko Jalava, Hungary’s Imre Matrahazi and Ruud Kok of Netherlands.

“Claiming a European record – after being crowned European champion – is the pinnacle of our sport in Europe,” said Hansen. “The holders of these records should be aspirational heroes whose performances are respected and recognised as beyond question by their fellow athletes and the fans of our sport.

“They should be 100 percent believable and credible. However, there is a view that this is currently not the case with some of the performances on the European record list, and so I have ordered this review.”

The task force will analyse the situation over the coming months before reporting back to the European Athletics Executive Board by September 2017 with their recommended changes and rationale.

“I have been in regular contact with IAAF president Sebastian Coe on this matter and the IAAF will monitor this work closely before deciding on any actions at the world level,” added Hansen.

“This is obviously a contentious and difficult issue that they will be looking into, so the task force will need to take advice and guidance from all our Member Federations, and IAAF and European Athletics Commissions, while also receiving input from the media, athletes past and present, and the public to ensure maximum debate and transparency before they arrive at any conclusions.”

Members of the sporting public are invited to contribute any comments or suggestions to recordsreview@european-athletics.org or through the social media twitter handle of the task force chair @pierceathletics.