3 May 2017

Rule change won't make Adams world record holder

10:55 am on 3 May 2017

Two-time Olympic champion Dame Valerie Adams won't automatically become the women's shot put world record holder, despite the current record likely to be wiped.

Athletics governing body the IAAF is considering accepting a "radical" new proposal to scrap athletics' longstanding world and European records.

The recommendation comes from a taskforce set up in January by European Athletics, following the state-sponsored Russian doping scandal revealed by the McLaren report.

European Athletics' ruling council has ratified the taskforce proposals and wants the sport's world governing body, the IAAF, to adopt them.

The proposal would effectively expunge any record pre-2005.

Valerie Adams 2010.

Valerie Adams 2010. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The women's shot put record is currently held by Natalya Lisovskaya of the Soviet Union, who threw 22.63m in 1987 - 30 years ago.

Records during that period are regarded as highly suspicious, with athletes from Eastern bloc countries having been part of a state sponsored doping programme.

The president of European athletics Svein Arne Hansen, says world records "are meaningless if people don't really believe them".

A record would only be recognised if it was achieved at an internationally approved competition.

The athlete had been subject to regular doping test and their sample was stored and available for re-testing for 10 years.

A record would also be wiped from record books if the athlete was found guilty of a doping even if it didn't relate to the record performance.

Valerie Adams received a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics but was later promoted to first after Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, (middle) was disqualified for drug cheating.

Valerie Adams received a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics but was later promoted to first after Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, (middle) was disqualified for drug cheating. Photo: Photosport

Dame Valerie Adams who won gold medals at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics and has a career-best throw of 21.24m which she threw at the world athletic champs in South Korea in 2011.

Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus has the best post-2005 throw of 21.58m but she was disqualified for drug cheating after winning at the London Olympics in 2012, and Adams was promoted to gold.

Under the proposed new rules that would mean Ostapchuk's world record of 21.58 metres, set in Belarus in 2012, would be excluded.

However Adams won't automatically become the new world record holder, with the proposal stating that, "When a record recognition is withdrawn, no immediate successor should ratified but rather a limit should be set for a new record to be established at a future date."

The changes would effectively wipe the slate clean from 2005 and would frustrate and anger some current world record holders who legitimately set their marks before the cut off point, including Britain's triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards.

Edwards, who set the mark in 1995 and compatriot Paula Radcliffe, who broke the marathon world record in London in 2003, have lambasted the move.

Radcliffe, 43, poured scorn on the idea - branding the idea "cowardly."

She said on Twitter: "I am hurt and I do feel this damages my reputation and dignity.

"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."

Edwards also slammed the proposed changes as "cowardly".

"I thought my record would go some day, just not to a bunch of sports administrators," Edwards told the Guardian.

"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."

IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe has endorsed the proposal.

Lord Sebastian Coe speaking at an event in Auckland.

Lord Coe speaking in Auckland in 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"I like this because it underlines that we [athletics governing bodies] have put into place doping control systems and technology that are more robust and safer than 15 or even 10 years ago," he said.

"There will be athletes, current record holders, who will feel that the history we are recalibrating will take something away from them but I think this is a step in the right direction and if organised and structured properly we have a good chance of winning back credibility in this area."

Top women shot put throws after 2005:

  • Nadzeya Ostapchuk Belarus; 21.58m (would be expunged under European Athletics proposal).
  • Valerie Adams New Zealand; 21.24m
  • Christina Schwanitz Germany; 20.77m
  • Natallia Mikhnevich Belarus; 20.70m
  • Michelle Carter USA; 20.63m
  • Gong Lijiao China; 20.43m