Radcliffe and Edwards could have records erased under propsed rule changes
European Athletics wants higher technical standards and increased doping control measures before records are recognised
LONDON — Paula Radcliffe and Jonathan Edwards are among several British athletes that could have their World and European records erased under new ratification rules designed to maintain the integrity of global athletics.
The radical proposal, drawn up by the European Athletics federation, would require any athlete breaking a major record to have been tested numerous times beforehand, and to have their sample stored for 10 years afterwards.
Among other stipulations, the report also proposes that records should only be recognized if the performance is achieved at an approved event where high standards of officiating and technical equipment can be guaranteed.
European Athletics forwarded the measures after a Council meeting in Paris to the world athletics’ governing body for approval, but given IAAF president Sebastian Coe attended, insiders expect the report will be accepted.
Should the reforms be given the green light, Radcliffe’s world marathon record and Edwards’ triple jump world mark would cease to be viewed as official records, since the IAAF only started keeping samples in 2005.
“I like this because it underlines that we (athletics governing bodies) have put into place doping control systems and technology that are more robust and safer than 15 or even 10 years ago,” Coe said.
“There will be athletes, current record holders, who will feel that the history we are recalibrating will take something away from them but I think this is a step in the right direction and if organized and structured properly we have a good chance of winning back credibility in this area.”
The European Athletics project team, led by Ireland’s Pierce O’Callaghan, also recommended that record recognition be withdrawn at any time if an athlete later commits a doping or integrity violation.
Neither Radcliffe or Edwards have publicly commented on the proposed rule changes, but last the marathon star last year told The Guardian: “I’ll never agree with the records being wiped because I know 100% that at least one of those records was achieved clean and that means more were too.”