World records before 2005 should go, Asafa agrees

Thursday, May 04, 2017

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DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — Following a radical plan to erase athletics' world records set before 2005 Asafa Powell -- who held the 100 metres world record between 2005 and 2008 – has backed the proposal.According to an AFP media report Powell stated, "I hope I don't get into trouble for this but I think they should (go). I agree with it".

The proposal by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has received mixed reaction from other athletes.

One of the potential main beneficiaries from any change -- the womens' Olympic 100m and 200m champion, Jamaica's Elaine Thompson -- advocated a mixed approach.

The world records in both of her events were set by America's Florence Griffiths-Joyner (Flo-Jo) in 1988.

"Those records were set before I was even born. "My view is I think the cheated ones can go but the ones done fairly can naturally stay," said Thompson, 24.

Thompson's best time of 10.70 in the 100 metre trails way behind the 10.49 set by Joyner almost 30 years ago, Thompson's 200 metre best is 21.66 while Joyner's world record is 21.34.

Flo-Jo's husband, Al Joyner, has already said any attempts to remove the records would "dishonour" his family.

Despite suspicions there was never any proof of doping by Flo-Jo, who died in 1998.

Meanwhile, veteran sprinter Kim Collins, who won the 100 metre World Championship in 2003, advocated no change.

"These things happen in history and to change this, that requires changing a lot of history," he said.

"I think it will be a very difficult thing to do.

I would leave it alone."

The plan will be put to the council meeting of the IAAF in August, though it is not yet known when any final decision will be made.

Senior member of the IAAF Olivier Gers responding to criticism from Britain's Paula Radcliffe said that it was not a “cowardly proposal”.

"I am not sure what's cowardly about this," said Gers. "It's a sad reality of our sport that we are doubting some records.

"What it allows us is to reset the bar. It's a very difficult decision."

He continued: "I think cowardly is a very strong word for our proposal."

Radcliffe, who ran a Marathon record time of 2hr 15min 25sec in 2003, has slammed the idea from European Athletics as administrators of the scandal-ridden sport try to make a clean break from previous doping scandals.

The 43-year-old Radcliffe, a British long-distance running icon, said in a statement on May 1 that the proposal was not only "cowardly" but could "damage her reputation and dignity".




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