Athletics: Radcliffe hits out at plan to wipe all records

Paula Radcliffe after she won the gold medal in the women's 800m final at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Paula Radcliffe after she won the gold medal in the women's 800m final at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Former top British runner Paula Radcliffe has hit out at UK Athletics' suggestion that all world records should be wiped out because it would signal innocent athletes like herself unfairly suffering due to the actions of others.

The former athlete was responding to the release of a radical new manifesto for a cleaner sport by the governing body, which recommends ripping up the current record books and enabling athletes to set new world records in a 'clean athletics era.'

The proposal would put at risk the three world records held by former Great Britain athletes including Racliffe, Colin Jackson and Jonathan Edwards.

Speaking to the Guardian, Radcliffe criticised the plan and the unfair impact it would have on clean athletes.

"Without doubt you are going to punish innocent athletes and why are you going to do it again when they have already had to compete against cheats during their career? I feel that innocent athletes have suffered enough at the hands of drugs cheats.

"I'll never agree with the records being wiped because I know 100% that at least one of those records was achieved clean and that means more were too."

The 42-year-old marked out her own recommendations to UK Athletics, that would see athletes found guilty of doping lose all records set throughout their career.

"One of my suggestions to UK Athletics was that if sufficient evidence comes to light about any athlete doping at any point, then all of their marks retrospectively get wiped for their entire career," she said.

Listen to athletics commentator Martin Gillingham talk to Radio Sport's Martin Devlin about plan to wipe out world records:

"It means, for example, that with Linford Christie all his marks would be gone because he failed a test in 1999. And OK, you are not saying they were cheating at that point, but the decision to dope means you forego and sacrifice everything you achieved before that. I think that is a strong deterrent."

Outlining the plan, UK Athetlics chairman Ed Warner said:'The integrity of athletics was challenged as never before in 2015. Clean athletes and sports fans the world over have been let down. Trust in the sport is at its lowest point for decades.

UKA believes the time has come for radical reform if we are to help restore trust in the sport. Athletics needs to act very differently if we are to move on from the crisis facing the sport. We are publishing today a "Manifesto for Clean Athletics". We cannot will the ends - a clean sport that people can trust - if we are not prepared to be bold and put in place the means to get there.

"Greater transparency, tougher sanctions, longer bans - and even resetting the clock on world records for a new era - we should be open to do whatever it takes to restore credibility in the sport."

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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