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Track and field world records could be wiped in bid backed by Seb Coe

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IAAF president Seb Coe likes a proposal to strip older track and field world records due to weak drug testing in past eras.

The European Athletic Association’s record “revolution” plan calls for the “rewriting” of track and field’s world-record list.

If an athlete set a world record, but their doping sample from the event was not stored for the next 10 years for retesting, the record would be stripped under the plan. The IAAF began saving doping samples from its championship meets in 2005.

Current world records set before 2005 include Florence Griffith-Joyner in the 100m and 200m (both in 1988) and Hicham El Guerrouj in the 1500m and the mile (1998 and 1999).

The new criteria for world records also mandates that an athlete must have been drug tested a certain number of times in the 12 months before he or she set the record. That to-be-announced number is likely to be six tests, according to the Guardian.

This could also impact recent world records, given the much-publicized lack of drug testing in recent years in countries including Jamaica and Kenya.

Also, an athlete that has a “serious breach of the rules” after setting a world record will be stripped of the record.

The plan will be considered at an IAAF council meeting in August, according to European Athletics.

“I like this because it underlines that we [the governing bodies] have put into place doping control systems and technology that are more robust and safer than 15 or even 10 years ago,” IAAF president Seb Coe said, according to a press release. “There will be athletes, current record holders, who will feel that the history we are recalibrating will take something away from them, but I think this is a step in the right direction, and if organized and structured properly, we have a good chance of winning back credibility in this area.”

Under the proposal, the four-time Olympic medalist Coe would presumably be stripped of his European 1000m record since it was set in 1981, before doping samples began being stored for retesting.

If a record is stripped under the proposal, nobody will be upgraded to be the new world-record holder. Rather, an unspecified limit would be set for a new record to be established at a future date.

“Performance records that show the limits of human capabilities are one of the great strengths of our sport, but they are meaningless if people don’t really believe them,” European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen said in a press release. “What we are proposing is revolutionary, not just because most world and European records will have to be replaced, but because we want to change the concept of a record and raise the standards for recognition a point where everyone can be confident that everything is fair and above board.

“It’s a radical solution for sure, but those of us who love athletics are tired of the cloud of doubt and innuendo that has hung over our records for too long.”

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Richie Porte crashes out of Tour de France again

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Australian Richie Porte crashed out of the Tour de France on the ninth stage for a second straight year, suffering a fractured right clavicle six miles into Sunday’s stage.

“Obviously I’m devastated,” Porte said, according to Team BMC. “For the second year in a row I am ending the Tour de France like this. I was on the ground before I knew it, and straight away felt pain in my right shoulder.”

Porte, who finished fifth in the 2016 Tour de France and was an overall podium contender these last two years, was seen sitting on the side of the road, gritting his teeth and crossing his right arm over his chest.

There was a mass stoppage of riders, with at least one spectator down on the side of the narrow road. The crash came well before the Tour stage was to hit 15 arduous cobblestone sections totaling 13 miles.

Porte was in 10th place after eight stages, 57 seconds behind race leader and BMC teammate Greg Van Avermaet. Avermaet and American Tejay van Garderen, in third place, were expected to work for Porte in the mountains later this week, hoping to put him in the yellow jersey.

Now, Van Garderen is in line to be the team leader.

In 2017, Porte fractured his clavicle and pelvis on a ninth-stage crash on a descent and had to abandon the Tour.

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Chris Froome, other stars crash on Tour de France cobblestones stage

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Richie PorteTejay van GarderenRigoberto UranMikel Landa. Even Chris Froome.

Stage nine of the Tour de France promised to rattle the top riders, and the 15 sections of cobblestones totaling 13 miles delivered just that. All of the named men crashed on Sunday, with Porte abandoning the Grand Tour altogether (albeit he crashed before the first cobbles section, six miles into the stage).

In the end, German John Degenkolb got the stage win ahead of overall race leader Greg Van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert.

Van Avermaet, the Olympic road race champion from Belgium, retained the yellow jersey for a sixth straight day, extending his lead to 43 seconds over Brit Geraint Thomas. Van Avermaet rides for Team BMC, which lost its team leader in Porte.

American van Garderen presumably became the new team leader, but he crashed later in the stage and also suffered three flat tires.

Van Garderen entered the day third in the overall standings, nine seconds behind Van Avermaet. He ended it in 30th place, 6:05 behind Van Avermaet.

The best-placed favorite to finish on the podium in Paris on July 29 is now the four-time Tour winner Froome, in eighth place, 1:42 behind Van Avermaet. Froome is trying to tie the record of five Tour titles shared by Jacques AnquetilEddy MerckxBernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

The Tour takes its first of two rest days Monday, resuming with the first day in the Alps on Tuesday live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold (full broadcast schedule here). Stage 10 features a beyond-category climb and three category-one climbs.

“I’m relieved to get through today and looking forward to getting into the mountains now where the real race for GC (general classification) will start,” Froome said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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