Sport Plans to disregard pre-2005 records should be scrapped say scientists

02:40  08 december  2017
02:40  08 december  2017 Source:   Press Association

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Plans to disregard pre-2005 records have been criticised: 2017 IAAF World Championships - Day Five - London Stadium © PA WIRE 2017 IAAF World Championships - Day Five - London Stadium

Plans to disregard athletics world records set before 2005 should be scrapped, according to a host of medical experts.

Proposals from the European Athletics Council to write off historic world records have been criticised by a group of leading medics, in an editorial for the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Athletics' global governing body is examining the plans to disregard world records set before 2005, as part of the battle against doping violations.

But a host of British and Australian sports scientists have claimed that would only amount to unfair punishment on clean athletes.

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“It seems a double punishment for clean athletes who have competed against and overcome drugs cheats to now lose their world records,” wrote the authors.

In defending current practices, the authors branded attempts “to address the serious issue of drugs in sport with an overly simplistic and ill-conceived strategy.”

The European Athletics Council believes that as urine and blood samples have only been stored since 2005, that records set before that time remain open to scrutiny over possible doping violations.

The British and Australian sports scientists maintain however that many clean athletes will have legitimate records expunged unfairly, if the current plans are implemented.

Leading sports scientists from Plymouth's Marjon University, Exeter University, Cairns' James Cook University and Canberra's Australian Institute of Sport have combined to voice their concern over the proposals being considered.

The authors added: “The initiative by European Athletics is certainly provocative, but it stains the reputation of all athletes pre-2005 by introducing an arbitrary threshold date that may need to be reset in future as new detection methods emerge.”

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