Athletics

Felix rejects proposal to erase track records

Allyson Felix (Getty Images)
Allyson Felix (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - American track star Allyson Felix says she does not support a move by international athletic chiefs to erase long-standing world records, many of which were set by dope cheats.

Any attempt to wipe out tarnished records would have the opposite effect on clean athletes who would lose their hard-fought records in the purge, the 31-year-old American said.

"It's a difficult thing," the 200m and 400m star said. "I do think that some of the records need to be revisited, but you don't want to take away a clean record from a clean athlete."

Speaking to AFP on the sidelines of a conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, Felix said she hoped the sports' governing bodies could come up with another solution.

"I don't know how you solve that issue, especially with samples that are not there anymore," she said. "It's just a difficult process. It would be very hard to do that and not have clean athletes suffer in the process. It's kind of no win situation."

The controversial proposal would wipe out athletics' world records set before 2005.

Under a plan to be considered by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in August, existing world records would be recognised only if achieved at approved international events and if the athletes concerned had been subjected to an agreed number of doping control tests in the months leading up to their performances.

"It is just difficult all the way around. I am not supporting it. It is not that simple, it's a more a complex issue," Felix said.

She became the only female track and field athlete in history to win six Olympic gold medals last year when she added the 4x100m and 4x400m titles to the four golds she accumulated at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

Felix stands tied with Jamaican great Merlene Ottey as the most decorated female Olympian in track and field history with a total of nine Olympic medals.

Felix said earlier this week that she is aiming to compete in the 2020 Olympics.

She competes for the United States, which has had one of the highest rates of failed drug tests in athletics over the past decade.

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