UKA for starting afresh with records

The UK Athletics has proposed a 14-point plan to clean up athletics following the Russian doping scandal. The plan includes a proposal to wipe out all world records in the sport and start afresh.

The IAAF President, Sebastian Coe, had shown some interest, according to reports, about erasing select "suspicious" records.   -  AP

World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe of Britian has pointed out it would be unfair — to remove all records — to those who set them fair and square.   -  AP

The UK Athletics has proposed a 14-point plan to clean up athletics following the Russian doping scandal. The plan includes a proposal to wipe out all world records in the sport and start afresh.

A similar proposal by Germany in 1999 was rejected by the IAAF without much ado. This time, too, there looks little chance of the UK proposal about records going through, though the newly-elected IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, had shown some interest, according to reports, about erasing select “suspicious” records.

In focus once again are the records by Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova in the women’s 800m (1:53.28) that has stood since 1983, the oldest in the IAAF lists, GDR woman Marita Koch in the 400m (47.60s, Canberra, 1985), American Florence Griffith-Joyner’s two marks in 100m (10.49s) and 200m (21.34s) and American Randy Barnes’s shot put record of 23.12m (Los Angeles, May, 1990).

Barnes was banned for two years shortly after that, came back and won the Olympic gold in 1996 and was caught doping again and received a lifetime ban in 1998.

Not many believe that the records set from the 1990s onwards could be considered “cleaner” than those of the 1980s, no matter that stricter doping control and more sophisticated testing methods might have come into play.

The javelin marks by GDR athletes Uwe Hohn (104.80, 1984) and Petra Felke (80.00m, 1988) could be easily kept aside since the IAAF changed implement specifications more than once.

The ones by Flo Jo, Kratochvilova, Koch and Barnes look unlikely to be bettered. The next best to Flo Jo are 10.64 (American Carmelita Jeter in 2009) and 21.62 (disgraced American Marion Jones in 1998). Kenyan Pamela Jelimo, Beijing Olympics champion, ran a 1:54.01 in 2008, at the age of 19. Barring a fourth place finish in the London Olympics, Jelimo has since faded.

No one has come near Koch. The next best in 400m after 1985 is Frenchwoman Marie-Jose Perec’s 48.25s that fetched her the 1996 Atlanta Olympics gold medal.

As world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe of Britain has pointed out it would be unfair — to remove all records — to those who set them fair and square.

You can only guess who might have been fair and who could have been juiced.