Not right! - Blake says no to wiping of world records
JAMAICA Athletics Administrative Association boss Dr Warren Blake said a proposal by European Athletics to wipe out all athletics world records which exist before 2005 is unfair.
Blake has also taken issue with proposed clauses outlining specific meets at which future world records would be recognised, part of what European Athletics said is the "start of a new, clean credible era" for a sport tainted by doping scandals.
Approve the proposal
Merlene Ottey's indoor world record 21.87 for 200 metres, set in 1993, is among many that is set to be erased. It is the only world record held by a Jamaican female on the International Association of Athletics Federation's books.
Blake said the proposal implies wrongdoing on Ottey, and others, part, should the International Association of Athletics Federations approve the proposal in July ahead of the August 5-13 World Championships in London, in time to stage what is being touted as the 'Redemption World Championship'.
"The concept of removing records in an attempt to reset the history books is more than just Merlene Ottey losing her record," Blake said.
"It sorta implies that all the previous record holders were in some way cheating. It's going to remove records that people have earned, without any evidence of wrongdoing. Even if it didn't affect any Jamaican, I would still have a problem with it. It creates a negative stigma," he added.
Blake said the proposal regarding guidelines for future records was also questionable.
"The IAAF already has a stringent list of procedures to ratify records and somebody will have to show me how that list is inadequate in order to ratify a new claim for a world record.
"Let us say we have our Jamaica Invitational meet and somebody runs a world record, and that meet is not on the list of meets that is on the list, then it would not be recorded. I find that absolutely ridiculous."
However, some Facebook readers reacting to yesterday's STAR Sports exclusive, saw a positive light, saying starting afresh would give hope to sprinters such as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson of setting 100m and 200m world records, 10.49 and 21.34, respectively, set by American Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988.
Blake said though this was possible, the proposal was still not good news.
"I don't think it's good for the sport and if it's not good for the sport, it's not good for Jamaica," he said.