Athletics: Edwards, Radcliffe blast 'cowardly' proposals to expunge old world records


Jonathan Edwards and Paula Radcliffe have criticised the "cowardly" plans for some of athletics' oldest world records to be wiped from the history books.

On Monday, the European Athletics Council put forward proposals to expunge all records which do not meet certain anti-doping criteria.

The Council suggested that records would only stand where the athlete in question had been "subject to an agreed number of doping control tests in the months leading up to the performance and the doping control sample taken after the record is stored and available for re-testing for 10 years."

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With the IAAF only storing blood and urine samples since 2005, all records prior to that date - including Edwards' triple jump effort of 18.29 metres from 1995 - could be expunged, if the IAAF agrees to European Athletics' proposals at a meeting in August.

"I wish they had the courage of their convictions," Edwards told the Guardian. "If there are records that are unbelievable and suspicious, go for those.

"I thought my record would go some day, just not to a bunch of sports administrators. It seems incredibly wrong-headed and cowardly. And I don't think it achieves what they want it to. Instead it cast doubts on generations of athletics performances."

Meanwhile Radcliffe, whose marathon time of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds from 2003 still stands, felt the decision cast aspersions over her own career.

"I am hurt and do feel this damages my reputation and dignity," she wrote on Twitter. 

"It is a heavy-handed way to wipe out some really suspicious records in a cowardly way by simply sweeping all aside instead of having the guts to take the legal plunge and wipe any record that would be found in a court of law to have been illegally assisted."

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