AFI secretary Valson assures records will be rectified

Several national records, some nearly two years old, are yet to be ratified.

AFI secretary C. K. Valson. (File photo)   -  Vipin Chandran

A new record is always cherished in athletics. In India, however, it is often a conundrum figuring out when and who exactly set a new record. The ongoing Federation Cup is a prime example.

Read: NADA officials absent on first day of Federation Cup Athletics

The official start lists here list several national records that are, officially, yet to be ratified, some of them pending for almost two years! Even the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) website lists the same as national records. But senior AFI officials continue to claim that the records will not be considered.

Case in point is the men's long jump record by Ankit Sharma (8.19m), set in Almaty in June 2016. The lab there was suspended by WADA by then, the record is yet to be ratified and AFI secretary C. K. Valson was
categorical that the federation did not accept it, as yet, as the best by an Indian jumper. But the start list here mentions that as the national record!

In fact, AFI even insists that Premkumar Kumaravel, who jumped 8.09m at the Railways championships in 2013, is also not the official record holder as the event was not considered by the AFI for its records, even though he is named as one on the official AFI records, claiming that Amritpal Singh remains the best with his 8.08m jump. But the AFI website – that apparently hasn't been updated in the last two years –
continues to list both names. As does the IAAF profile database that credits 8.19m as Sharma's best.

There are other cases. If Sharma's Almaty mark is being considered official, Dutee Chand's incredible 11.24s run in the same competition has been ignored in favour of a 11.30s mark set at the Indian Grand Prix Leg 3 last year on New Delhi. Mohammed Anas has a best of 45.32s in 400m, again set at the IGP Leg 3. None of them appear on the website.

Way back in 2012, Om Prakash Singh Karhana's 20.69m throw in shot put at Szombathely, Hungary was rejected by the AFI as not coming in a bonafide competition but it is now the national record. Siddhant Thingalaya's progression chart on the international federation lists a 13.43s in 110m hurdles in San Diego last year but the official list has a 13.48 set in Arizona as his best.

"We are aware of many such cases and I have already spoken to the AFI president Adille Sumariwala about it. He is in touch with international authorities and we should be able to finalise things one way or the other in the next 10 days," Valson assured.

The entire process of ratifying any national record includes being set in a recognised competition, with authorised officials, in acceptable conditions and with equipments recognised by the IAAF and with proper
dope testing of the athlete. But when Siva Subramani set a new national record in pole vault on Monday, there was no NADA official to collect samples for testing.

NADA's Dope Control Officers finally arrived on Tuesday while insisting that WADA rules allow collection within 24 hours – without bothering to add that it included keeping the athlete under observation. The DCOs reportedly also wanted to test Seema Punia – only, the discus thrower had already left for Delhi!

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