In a reversal of its decision from September, the IAAF has decided to let Paula Radcliffe hold on to her marathon world record of 2:15:25, set at the 2003 London Marathon.
The IAAF moved to change the rules surrounding women’s marathon world records, not accepting results from mixed races. When the ruling first came down, the governing body applied the new standard retroactively. Since Radcliffe’s 2003 time was achieved in a race with men, that mark was no longer the world record; her 2:17:42 from 2005 — women and men were staggered in that race — became the new world record.
The new policy caused a stir worldwide, as most marathons are mixed races, reducing the number of opportunities for world records. Nike, Radcliffe’s sponsor, launched an advertising campaign criticizing the IAAF.
Radcliffe met with IAAF President Lamine Diack to discuss the issue, at least hoping he would remove the retroactive designation, which is what happened on Wednesday.
The new rules, however, remain in effect for future records.