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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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Emily Sweeney posts fastest time in qualifier for luge World Cup opener

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World championship bronze medalist Emily Sweeney placed first in the Nations Cup luge race Friday in Innsbruck, Austria, qualifying with ease for the first World Cup event of the season.

Twelve women, including fellow American Summer Britcher, were seeded directly into the World Cup race. Sweeney, Brittney Arndt and Ashley Farquharson all qualified from the Nations Cup race. Britcher has finished third in the overall World Cup standings for two straight years and is a contender in a wide-open year with seven-time defending champion Natalie Geisenberger taking a year off while pregnant.

MORE: Geisenberg will not race in 2019-20

In the men’s competition, Jonny Gustafson and Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer finished third and fifth in the Nations Cup race to advance. Tucker West claimed the second-to-last qualifying spot to get all three U.S. sliders in Sunday’s World Cup race.

Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman qualified for the doubles competition, ensuring all eight U.S. sliders will see the weekend races.

OlympicChannel.com will have live streaming this weekend (all times ET):

  • Women: Saturday, 4:15 a.m. and 5:40 a.m.
  • Doubles: Saturday, 7:05 a.m. and 8:25 a.m.
  • Men: Sunday, 4 a.m. and 5:35 a.m.
  • Team relay: Sunday, 7:40 a.m.

Highlights will be on television at the following times:

  • Saturday: Olympic Channel, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Olympic Channel, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: NBCSN, 4:30 p.m.

Next weekend, the World Cup series heads to Lake Placid, N.Y.

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Russian track and field federation faces expulsion threat over new doping allegations

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MOSCOW (AP) — The governing body for track and field will consider expelling Russia from membership following new charges that senior officials faked medical records.

Russia has been suspended by World Athletics, formerly known as the IAAF, over widespread doping since 2015. There will be a review of whether vetted Russians should still be allowed to compete in international events as neutrals.

“We need to deal with renegade factions like this,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said Friday in Monaco.

World Athletics has frozen talks about lifting the long-running suspension and asked its Russia task force for recommendations on expelling the country’s track federation.

“It’s not symbolic,” said Coe, who said the charges and suspensions against Russian officials were so wide-ranging that they left the task force with almost no one left to talk to.

One route could be to close the Russian track federation and set up a new national governing body. Russia’s sports minister said he had referred the federation to a commission which oversees such matters.

Federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin and four other senior officials are accused of obstructing the investigation into 2017 world championship silver medalist Danil Lysenko, who was accused last year of failing to make himself available for drug testing.

Lysenko allegedly provided fake medical documents as an alibi with help from the officials. He and his coach have also been suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit pending full disciplinary hearings.

Also Friday, the three-time world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene assailed Russian track leaders after they were charged Thursday, saying they have made a “doping nightmare” even worse.

Lasitskene called for swift and radical reforms, and the removal of officials appointed by Shlyakhtin.

Shlyakhtin took office shortly after the federation was suspended from international competition for widespread doping. The suspension remains in place four years later.

“The new team, whose task was to take us out of this doping nightmare, has turned out no better than the old one. And in some ways worse,” Lasitskene wrote on Instagram. “Shlyakhtin and his team must quit their posts immediately and never come back. And I will make sure this happens.”

Lasitskene has won two of her three world titles as a neutral athlete as a result of Russia’s suspension, which also caused her to miss the 2016 Olympics.

“Our track and field is in its death throes and we can’t procrastinate anymore,” she wrote. “We’ve lost four years already. Clean athletes are still defenseless and not sure they’ll be able to compete tomorrow.”

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov expressed concern about the “emergency situation” and referred the federation to a ministry commission which could officially withdraw its government recognition.

“The future fate of the track and field federation will be examined,” Kolobkov said Friday in a video statement. “For us now, the main thing is that the training process isn’t interrupted. That means all of the athletes will get the help they need to continue the training and competition process.”

Earlier, the Kremlin said the charges against Shlyakhtin and others won’t derail the country’s preparations to compete in next year’s Olympics.

“Undoubtedly, this (situation) requires attention from the sports authorities, and I’m sure they’re dealing with it,” said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “But I don’t see a direct connection with Russia’s participation in the Olympics here.”

With Shlyakhtin suspended, the federation is set to select an interim president at a board meeting on Saturday.

Russia is also facing a World Anti-Doping Agency ruling next month on whether it manipulated data from a lab in Moscow.

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