Athletics to Reboot Records Database and Delete Numerous Memorable Wins

By Gary Cutlack on at

Some of the most memorable moments in the history of track and field athletics are about to be erased from history, as its governing body prepares to wipe many world records set before 2005 from the book.

This means that Jonathan Edwards's triple jump record from 1995 is set for the bin, Paula Radcliffe will lose her fastest ever marathon runner title, and even the famous achievements of sprinter and modern day BBC stalwart Michael Johnson are to be erased.

The reason is that the athletics governors think the public would like to see a clean sweep of all world bests, seeing as a few, by some noteable US and Russian athletes, may well have been achieved with the help of a sneaky old bit of systemic doping. They want any future world records to be backed up by pre and post-performance drug test results, something that isn't readily available for many older bests.

Sadly it means some of the most memorable moments in the history of athletics -- like Mike Powell's battle with Carl Lewis that saw the long jump record fall in 1991 and Jan Zelezny's javelin battles with Steve Backley that resulted in him setting a huge record in 1996 -- are about to be rendered officially meaningless.

Paula Radcliffe's not happy about it, as she thinks it vaguely suggests that every athlete competing before 2005 couldn't be trusted,  even though the competitors came through the testing regimes of their day. [BBC]

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