Women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe is “hurt” by the possibility of the IAAF erasing pre-2005 world records.
On Monday, The Guardian‘s Sean Ingle wrote that new criteria would require athletes be tested “multiple” times in the lead-up to a world record and that samples would need to be stored for future testing, up to 10 years. The proposal was discussed, and approved, per Ingle, at a European Athletic Association council meeting, which IAAF president Seb Coe attended. Coe is “in favour” of the proposal, according to Sports Illustrated.
As the IAAF has only stored athletes’ samples from 2005 onwards, any record prior to that may be affected.
Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 marathon world record was set in 2003. Hicham El Guerrouj’s 1,500m world record, 3:26.00, was set in 1998. Usain Bolt’s records, meanwhile, were set post-2005. Under the new proposal, all records would need to be set in IAAF pre-approved competitions. Sean Ingle says that the proposal, pending IAAF approval, could come into effect within the next 12 months. The move is aimed at instilling “public confidence” in world records, says European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen.
Radcliffe’s statement on the European Athletic Association decision
Some thoughts on the EAA decision today. pic.twitter.com/xpee4luvSp
— Paula Radcliffe (@paulajradcliffe) May 1, 2017
“1. I worked extremely hard for my PBs and they will always be valid to me. I know they were set through hard work and best effort and abiding by all the rules and am proud of them.
2. Governing bodies have a duty to protect every clean athlete. We had to compete against cheats, they couldn’t provide us a level playing field, we lost out on medals, moments and earnings due to cheats, saw our sport dragged through the mud due to cheats and now, thanks to those who chose to cheat we potentially lose our World and Area records.
3. Although we are moving forward I don’t believe we are yet at the point where we have a testing procedure capable of catching every cheat out there, so why reset at this point? Do we really believe a record set in 2015 is totally clean and one in 1995 is not?
4. I am hurt and do feel this damages my reputation and dignity. It is a heavy handed way to wipe out some really suspicious records in a cowardly way by simply sweeping all aside instead of having the guts to take the legal plunge and wipe any record that would be found in a court of law to have been illegally assisted.
5. It is confusing to the public at a time when athletics is already struggling to market itself. How do they explain how stadium, club and national records are better than the Area and World marks or will they force all those to be wiped too?”