Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Reset the records - Bailey

Published:Wednesday | November 2, 2016 | 11:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Bailey

Donovan Bailey, the Canadian who produced a world record to win the 100 metres at the 1996 Olympics, wants to cleanse the all-time track and field performance list of drug-tainted marks.

In an interview earlier this week, Bailey believes a reset of world records in athletics would do a world of good.

According to the retired sprinter, a cleanse by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) would help fans focus on wonderful athletes like Olympic champions Usain Bolt of Jamaica and South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk.

"I think the IAAF has to do something to ensure that doping is not the first thing you speak of," he begun in an interview posted on www.insidethegames.biz.

"I think for one you should press reset and get rid of all the records which were on the books if there has been a doping issue," he recommended.

His suggestion might also affect records and medals accumulated by East German athletes in the 1980s and 1990s.

Documents released from that country after the unification of Germany confirmed the activity of a state-organised doping programme for its track and field athletes.

"If there is a doping charge," he explained, "you erase it - it becomes very simple - so we can talk about amazing positive things because there is so much to talk about, like Wayde van Niekerk and Usain Bolt."

Olympic Games

Bolt famously did the 100 and 200 metre double for the third time in a row at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In the same Games, van Niekerk smashed the 400 metre world record with a fine run of 43.03 seconds from the outermost lane.

Bailey, who ran a world record of 9.84 second to win his Olympic gold 20 years ago, also agrees with the ban of Russian athletes from Rio.

"My stance would be any country that has been accused of and found guilty of statewide doping," he asserted, "all the athletes would be banned."

He believes it is unfair for clean athletes to lose medals, prize money and sponsorship to users of illegal performance enhancers.

"It is a terrible thing to do," the 48-year-old Canadian lamented, "because most athletes are clean and believe in the power of clean sport."

He was interviewed in Monaco at last week's SPORTELMonaco sports marketing and media convention in Monte Carlo.