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IAAF Chief Executive Calls Athletics Records Proposals ‘Very Bold’

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Sebastian Coe, center, and Olivier Gers, right. Photo: AthleticsWeekly.com

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) chief executive Olivier Gers has called controversial proposals to “recalibrate” world records set before 2005 as “very bold,” adding that they will be widely debated before their Council meeting in London on July 31.

Speaking at the press event for tomorrow’s opening IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha, Gers said he agreed with the comment of the Association’s President Sebastian Coe that the new idea is “a step in the right direction.”

On Monday, European Athletics bosses agreed to look into rewriting the sport’s records after a proposal put forward to them by their Project Team.

It is hoped doing this will clear athletics of records tainted by suspected drugs cheats, but the idea has caused a lot of controversy.

The IAAF would have to ratify the plans before any record can be reset.

“I definitely share Seb’s enthusiasm for the proposal,” Gers said.

“But we are still talking about what is a recommendation from European Athletics, which we will examine at the IAAF Council meeting in London on July 31 ahead of the World Championships.

“That will give us time to fully debate this issue with representatives of our six areas, so there is a chance for many different voices to be heard.

“This is a very bold proposal with a lot of implications.”

Asked for her views on the proposed rule changes, Rio 2016 shot put champion Michelle Carter from the United States, who was co-hosting the public press event being held in one of Doha’s principal shopping malls with double Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, said the plans had good and bad points.

“It’s bittersweet to me because it affects a lot of athletes who have achieved their records clean, but there are other records out there that are open to question and it would be good to try and do something about that,” she said.

Several athletes have come out and criticized the proposals, including women’s high jump world record holder Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria, who exclusively told insidethegames.biz saying the proposals “mock her achievements.”

Men’s long jump world record holder Mike Powell has also been critical, with the American saying it would be wrong to approve the idea.

By Mike Rowbottom

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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