Glen Mills, coach of the two fastest men in history – Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake – said he is not entirely in agreement with recent suggestions that track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, closes the book on existing world records and start anew.
The most recent suggestion came from Gianni Merlo, president of the International Press Association, who suggested that such a move would help the sport improve its image, tarnished by recent incidents of doping, most notably the recent scandal involving the reported widespread institutionalized doping of athletes uncovered in Russia.
There have also been incidents involving a number of African athletes who last year were arrested at a hotel in Spain in June 2016.
“If the fight against doping has come to this point, if it is as difficult as we all agree it is, then I think that the moment has arrived to close the world record books in athletics and open new ones,” Merlo said in an open letter to IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
“It is a suggestion that has some merit but in the interest of balance, one is assuming that all records that are there are tainted and I do not believe so,” said the man who has steered Bolt to a historic three consecutive Olympic 100m and 200m titles.
“How do you address the injustice that would be done to those who worked hard to achieve excellence?”
Former Olympic high jump champion Stefka Kostadinova has also hit out as the proposal.
The 51-year-old Kostadinova, who is still the world record holder with a jump of 2.09 metres from the 1987 world championships in Rome, said the suggestion of expunging all existing records would be “unfair to all (athletes) who absolutely honestly reached the peak of their careers”.