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Husband of ‘Flo-Jo’ Vows to Fight Efforts to Reset World Records

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Florence Griffith-Joyner was dogged by doping allegations after winning the women's 100 and 200-metre sprints at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Photo: AFP Photo

Al Joyner, the husband of late sprinter and world record holder Florence Griffith Joyner, commonly known as “Flo-Jo,” told the Wall Street Journal this week that he will fight efforts to reset some world records set before 2005.

Griffith Joyner holds the world record in both the 100 meters at 10.49 seconds and the 200 meters at 21.34 seconds. The records were set in 1988 at the Seoul Olympics. While there was never definitive proof of wrongdoing, some in the athletics world suspected that her record performances were fueled by drug use. She retired from the sport in 1989 and passed away at age 38 in 1998 after suffering an epileptic seizure.

On 1 May the European Athletics’ Records Credibility Project Team proposed that all athletics world records set before 2005 could be erased. Under the new rules, set to be considered by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in August, records set before 2005 would only be recognized if they were recorded at approved international events, or if the athletes had been subjected to doping control tests before the performance.

Joyner told the Wall Street Journal he would fight any effort to wipe her performances from the record books. Joyner, 57, was the 1984 Olympic triple jump champion.

“That’s dishonoring my family,” Joyner told the newspaper. “I will fight tooth and nail. I will find every legal opportunity that I can find. I will fight it like I am training for an Olympic gold medal.”

By Eric Mann

Eric Mann is the communications assistant at the United States Sports Academy. Reach him at emann@ussa.edu. 

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