Ottey's world record on chopping block
MERLENE OTTEY's 24-year-old 200-metre indoor world record, 21.87, is among many that are likley to be wiped from history in three months' time. Ottey, running under the Jamaican flag, before switching allegiance to Slovenia, set the indoor mark on February 13, 1993, in Lievin, France.
It is the only existing world record held by a Jamaican female, on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) books.
Ottey's mark is among those that fall under a proposal to wipe out all world records achieved in athletics before 2005 to mark the start of a 'new, clean, credible era' for a sport tainted by doping scandals.
European Athletics set up the task force in January to look into the credibility of world records, many of which were set in the 1980s when there was no out-of-competition testing.
Should the IAAF ratify the proposal and Ottey is bumped, Jamaica would still have four world records on the revised list led by Usain Boltís sprint double at the August 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, 9.58 and 19.19.
The other two Jamaican world records in safe territory are the 4x100 mark of 36.84, set by Bolt, Yohan Blake, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter at the 2012 Olympics in London, England, plus the 4x200 record of 1:18.63 ran by Blake, Warren Weir, Nickel Ashmeade and Jermaine Brown at the May 2014 World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas.
Pierce OíCallaghan, chairman of the task force, said getting the proposal approved by the IAAF before the world championship, August 5-13, would fuel ìthe general belief that the world championship in London is the Redemption World Championship.
European Athletics has announced that its ruling council had accepted the project teamís recommendations to rewrite pre-2005 world and European record lists.
The European body said it would now forward the recommendations to the IAAF for ratification in July, ahead of the world championship in London.
Backing the proposal, IAAF president Sebastian Coe said it was a ìstep in the right directionî.
OíCallaghan, an Irish official who is also head of operations for the 2017 world championships, said the initial desire of the task force was to focus on 'questionable records', particularly from athletes who have been caught doping. But he said it was necessary to have a 'one size fits all'.
"There has been a huge appetite to regain the public trust, to close a chapter and move on with a new cleaner, more believable sport than there has been in the past," he added.