I see in a home-page-linked article that gh has been quoted in support of an IAAF guy, who wants a do-over of the world records:
Yet the notion is kept alive by reformers such as Gianni Merlo, chairman of the IAAF press commission, who favors a new list of records. Garry Hill, editor of Track & Field News, supports introduction of old and new millennium records. "Go to a bifurcated system," Hill wrote in an e-mail. "Give the sport back its thrill of the world record chase, but at the same time, don't disenfranchise all the fair-playing greats who went before."
Not to resurrect this argument, but this idea does two really bad things:
1. Discredits anyone who was clean. Let's face it; anyone in the old list is de facto smeared with doping suspicion.
2. It assumes we are 100% clean now, which NO ONE is even close to saying.
After the NEXT doping scandal, and yes, there WILL be one, will we have to throw out a second set of records and go with a threesome of records.
How 'bout we just go with "Decade Records"?! That way we can start afresh every 10 years, and retire the old ones as belonging to THAT era of the PED Wars.
I'm Pollyannish enough to want a clean sport and do whatever is necessary to ensure than, but I'm pragmatist enough to see that it ain't never gonna happen. The best we can do is the best we can do and just live with our spotty history. A cynical way to look at it is that the playing field has ALWAYS been level. If you passed the test, you were legit; if you didn't, you weren't. We know the 70s and 80s were especially nasty, but those who passed the tests, played within 'the rules' back then (i.e., pass the tests).
Let's get real now and deal with our past, present and future as best we can, acknowledging our mistakes, but using the 'tainted' records as goals to beat clean. Changing them now would only bring MORE ridicule on the sport, not to mention cries of 'HYPOCRISY' that we think we are fully clean now.
The dual record concept is a bad one. I have trouble believing anyone has suggested it. If someone run 19.6 for 200m it isnt an exciting race, just because it is off the existing WR? And of course there is no convincing evidence that the current crop of athletes are cheating any less than before, though my guess is that it is a wash.
Obviously some US record setters are resisting admitting they cheated. Hopefully they'll be stepping up at some point for the good of the sport.
The real problem is that doping has become so common that many young athletes in the US and abroad, now assume they must cheat to succeed at the highest levels. Thats the big disaster because it means the sport slips into the realm of other sports with no standards, and no history of honor.
Eldrick, I dont know about tracks getting faster as a factor. Id guess the effect is negligible. It seems an all-weather track could be tuned for certain height/wt athletes but not for all, and certainly not for all events.
dsrunner wrote:The real problem is that doping has become so common that many young athletes in the US and abroad, now assume they must cheat to succeed at the highest levels. .
Having coached young folks (HS and college) I refuse to believe this statement you made dsrunner. Particularly among us DS runners. And do you really believe that doping is MORE prevalent now than it was under the old soviet block nationalized sports programs? I do not, particularly among women.
but to address the thread topic - no, I dont want to see two sets of records. That would mean Daniel Komen's 7:20 would be gone. NO WAY!
The biggest problem (out of many) with this idea is that people -- both athletes and fans -- are not stupid enough to be fooled by a bifurcated record system.
Y'all know as well as I do that if we completely wiped the slate clean and started over again, no one would actually pay any attention to the new records.
No one wants to know "Who has run the fastest 100 meters since 2007"
They want to know how a race stacks up against the greatest performances ever--even if those performances might not have been clean.
If we reset the records, and then Wallace Spearmon runs a 19.75 and gets credited with a "new world record." Neither fans nor Spearmon himself are going to able to treat that as an actual record. Newspapers and TV (those that cover track and and field anyway) would report "Wallace Spearmon ran a 'world record' today, but it was nearly half a second slower than the actual fastest 200 time ever"
Look at how obsessed we are with converting to basic times, and taking into account changes the quality of tracks over time, and other similar developments. We want to be able to draw those comparisons between the all-time greats. A new set of records would get exactly the amount of respect it deserved--none. Neither real fans nor casual observers would care. The only thing they'd want to know is ---- okay, but it is REALLY a record?
Create as many sets of records as you want. It won't change the fact that the absolute lowest (or highest, for the field guys) number is the only one people will care about.
If people want to place their own asterisks beside records that they feel are tainted somehow, let them make that adjustment for themselves--probably we all do for at least a few of them. I sure don't take 47.60 or 10.49 very seriously. But let it stand. It's the lowest number, and it will eventually be broken, no matter how far off it looks right now.
Unfortunately, you can never clean up the sport without better testing methods and lifetime bans for offenders.
Otherwise, the best solution would be to have PED-free and PED-enhanced meets and records.
Let them all come out in the open and compete.
Scientists and coaches can put together their best concoctions and recruit athletes to take them - same as race car companies and drivers try to match up for the best performance.
Then you can have the titles of Worlds Fastest Man and Worlds Fastest Man (PED free).
I think most people might like the 2nd title better!
ponytayne wrote:those are different IMPLEMENTS...you cant change what 400 meters is.
What he said.
Although, if you really wanted to establish new records that people would pay attention to, the experience of the javelin tells you how to do it:
Change the race distances, implements, or allowable techniques.
Change them enough that the old era performances are not easily compared, but not so much that the whole character of the event changes. You could probably stop the "but Michael Johnson ran faster" skepticism by changing the race distance to 183 or 229 meters. Or else, take away the current starting method, and make them use some other type of block or starting stance. Biomechanists would love you because you'd give them a whole new 10+ year research agenda on optimizing mechanics under the new rules.
Not advocating this, but it might be the only way to actually establish a new record system.
Well, if we REALLY wanted numbers to make sense events would be in increments of 100, 250, 500 m. We'd have a 1000, a 1500, a 3000, a 5000, and a 10000. Oh wait, we already have those last four. Nevermind....
I agree with tafnut's original post and all the other similar voices that have followed. It would be useless to effectively ditch the old records. And I, for one, do not believe that a flurry of new cheap records (and they would be CHEAP) would generate the slightest bit of public interest.
the "new records" in and of themselves would indeed generate zero interest. But I'm confident that every time that one of htem was broken, the general press would blithely report it as a new WR, sans comment, and the general public--who are are target--woujld buy it without blinking.
We had the Roger Maris asterisk (briefly), but every time the pro ball leagues increase length of season, uou ever see any reaction to "cheapening" of records? When Jim Brown and a few o thers rushed for 1000y in 12 games it was huge; it's no less huge today when people do it in 16 (a whopping 62.5y per game!).
dsrunner wrote:I dont know about tracks getting faster as a factor. Id guess the effect is negligible. It seems an all-weather track could be tuned for certain height/wt athletes but not for all, and certainly not for all events.
not for overall speed, but for more generous vertical deformation
the osaka track blurb went un-noticed, even by me until recently ( anal-retentitive on track "physiology" ever since atlanta )
atlanta was described as "rock hard" & gave you 19.32, but "shattered" distance runners feet, meaning 10k wr holder geb coudn't get his fait accompli 2nd gold in the 5k
now, iaaf specs insist on a track returning < 65% energy, whereas granite reurns close to 100%
problem with atlanta was, mondo at time was surprisingly "primtive" - it was given a 35% factor to shy away from, but still went to that limit )or exceded it ??? ) & produced for all intents & purposes : "rubber-granite" which shattered bones of distance runners by having no "give"
the osaka boyz seem to have found that 35% leeway is plenty- that newer "rubber/polymer/etc" allows them to give back < 65% & still "vertically deform" = "give", which means it doesn't shatter the gebs'/kennsters bones
it means you can have 19.32 & 12'30 on same track...
( p s this post took a lotta effort to type, so i hope you appreciate that )
Last edited by eldrick on Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
gh wrote:We had the Roger Maris asterisk (briefly), but every time the pro ball leagues increase length of season, uou ever see any reaction to "cheapening" of records? When Jim Brown and a few o thers rushed for 1000y in 12 games it was huge; it's no less huge today when people do it in 16 (a whopping 62.5y per game!).
But those guys are still in the same Continuum as today's guys. What you're asking for is to 'throw away' the old guys cuz they 'cheated'. Entirely different kettle of fish.
gh wrote:the "new records" in and of themselves would indeed generate zero interest. But I'm confident that every time that one of htem was broken, the general press would blithely report it as a new WR, sans comment, and the general public--who are are target--woujld buy it without blinking.
I agree. But do you see this generating a lot of interest in the sport? Will it cause a large number of people to watch track who weren't watching before? Or will they say, "oh, that's nice." and go on about their business.
I admit--my small sample of likely sports viewers (who are all male 20 or 30 somethings and thus our target demographic, I assume) suggests that they want to see records broken. When I can convince them to watch track, they want to know what the record is, and they are upset if the winner doesn't approach it, even if the performance is otherwise superb. But I am not sure that a higher possibility of seeing a record would be enough to get them to tune in.
Even if so, what do you do when really Beamon-esque performances start emerging again? Reset the records every few years so that they are constantly being broken?
I don't have answers. I might advocate popularity increasing changes to the sport, if I had any idea what changes might conceivably have that effect. Most of the suggestions I have heard seem unlikely candidates. Probably the best options I've heard are 1. shortening meets enough to make them comparable in length to football or basketball games. 2. Increasing the importance of the team aspect of the sport, and really playing it up. This would give people a narrative to latch onto rather than an incomprehensible slate of times and measurements with no obvious implications. I think one of our biggest PR nightmares is that we really only have one or two competitions a year that actually matter. Assuming you meet the Q standard for the championships, you don't get penalized for missing a meet, or exerting a sub-par effort. Maybe NCAA regionals are a step in the right direction.
1. How can an athlete compete against what are very likely tainted records? The use of PEDs is clearly effective in inproving human performance. So how can a current woman attempt to beat a woman's record that was enhanced with an anabolic steroid?
2. Considering the issue of cheating, aren't those old records simply saying 'if you cheat, and are not caught, you get the glory'. How is that ethical, fair, moral, or equal to any kind of Olympic spirit in sport?
When I hear announcers talk about better training and better nutrition I simply laugh. Many modern records simply involve better pharmacology. It is true that tracks and equipment are better. It is also true the pharmacological enhancement of performance overwhlems the other factors.
3. There is the age-old question now facing Barry Bonds who will overtake Hank Aaron in baseball: 'he never tested positive'. This despite incredible, overwhleming evidence Bonds juiced.
4. I cannot see a 'duel' system of PED+ meets and PED- meets, although it might tell us how much improvement is had by using PEDs.
That will lead to is amateur wrestling (ie NCAA) v Pro-wrestling (generally PED free v. PED Circus). And if you haven't noticed the path of juicing in pro wrestling leads to death and destruction.
Also witness the ridiculous level or morbidity and mortality in cycling, which is due to PEDs. Once the arms/PED race is unleashed it will esculate to massive 'legal' levels.
I cannot, even as a physician, accept legal PEDs (outside of Motrin). The patient-athletes will develop new ways of cheating doctors who certify them.
Someone help me out with thinking about the moral issues too. Are we endoring drug-cheating by accepting tainted records?
ponytayne wrote:those are different IMPLEMENTS...you cant change what 400 meters is.
if we get the "physics" of how the same "release energy" applied to a 104.80m or 80.00m converts to a spear with pulled-back centre of mass, believe you me, we'll have a damn good idea of hohn v jan/ felke v osy
trouble is, it's a tricky angular momentum problem & needs a calibre of jrm to look at it
gh wrote:the "new records" in and of themselves would indeed generate zero interest. But I'm confident that every time that one of htem was broken, the general press would blithely report it as a new WR, sans comment, and the general public--who are are target--woujld buy it without blinking..
What do you mean by "buying"?--that they'd read the agate type in the paper (well, yes, they probably would), or that they'd care and actually be excited (I doubt it). Let's think back to--for example--Komen's first sub-8 minute 2 mile...a performance that really SHOULD have gotten the US public talking at least a bit. My memory is that the media and public gave this landmark performance essentiall NO attention whatever. So, you say that that's because the mark was slightly inferior to the 3k record? Fine. How much public attention was given to that in '96? Again, pretty close to zip.
In THIS country, if one really wants to do two things: 1) pretend to clean up "dirty" records; and 2) gain some additional public interest, the answer is very simple: revert to YARDS for all running events and change the weights or specs on the throwing implements. (For the jumps, I don't have a clue--maybe fiddle with approach length or the angle of the HJ sector.) By and large, the yards records are as "legit" as any set of records could be, and only one --the mile (well, perhaps the 2 mile, too)--has been really pushed out of sight.
As I've indicated above, the disinterest in Komen's 2 mile record shows clearly that yards are far from "the" answer--it suggets that the US public has just tuned it ALL out. However, for a supposedly "clean" set of records, it would make as much sense as anything else.
At the end of the day, I'm still strongly in favor of letting it all stay as is; we can't retroactively purify the past, and we can never be sure that from "now" on, everything will be legit. The history is what it is: complex. And the future will be more like the past than we'd like to admit.
I look at this from a viewpoint of rules changes. When the jav rules were rewritten, the IAAF wiped the record books clean and started over. It just can't be thrown as far, and none of us need scientists to explain it to us because we see the difference in the results.
Likewise, we have anti-doping regulations now that are much different than in the 1980s. The net result is a big dropoff in certain events--the men's throws and pretty much all of the then-well-established women's events. I have no special knowledge about doping regulations or who's doing what or any of that stuff, but I can read the results and I know something different is happening.
Take the 400m; the best mark since the fall of the Berlin Wall is Perec's 48.25 in Atlanta, and if you wish to discount that track due to compliance issues then it's Richards' 48.70 of last year. If any division between epochs is to be made, it's right around '91 or '92 and not 2000.
I don't think any official action needs to be taken, rather I think it's like the 70s-80s when the 100/200/400/LJ records were all altitude-aided and we kept track of low-altitude "records". Beamon's mark finally did get beaten and it was about the most thrilling thing I've ever seen in sports. I didn't think we needed to wipe his mark from the books and I think we're OK here. But I'd definitely be aware of "post-Cold War" bests for the women and the men's throws.
I'm with Kuha in going to yards. Change the weights on the implements. That leaves the four jumps and this is the difficult part. The vault has already been mucked around with by changing the pegs. The same should hold for the high jump. Set a maximum tolerance on the bend a pole can make? Bring back the rule voiding poles that follow the vaulter into the pit. Ban the flop? That leaves the long and triple jumps. The only thing I can think of is to have it as the combined distance in jumping off both the right and left legs. I know it sounds absurd but how else can you change the event?...
So if "we" just settle for records for this century (or millenium) and records for the last, (to revive an "old" argument), is the cutoff date December 31, 1999 or December 31, 2000?
I'm afraid that those of us visiting this board are concerned about the integrity of the records, but the general public really isn't, or if they are its only to the extent of providing cover for the drug abuses in their beloved mainstream sports.
They have been studying changing the Women's hurdles to 110 meters and/or 36 inches for some time now. And the shift from a Women's heptathlon to decathlon would probably lead to new records for the latter.
Halfmiler2 wrote:They have been studying changing the Women's hurdles to 110 meters and/or 36 inches for some time now. And the shift from a Women's heptathlon to decathlon would probably lead to new records for the latter.
I'm all for the raising of the women's hurdles, but the length and spacing needs to stay the same. We are WAY overdue to move to the women's Decathlon. Anyone know what the hold-up is? I coulda sworn I read a couipla years ago that the IAAF was for it too.
Why not revert back to yards? Or drastic action could be taken that step further, so that we have the 80m, 150m, 300m, 600, 1000m, 2000m etc. As has been mentioned, change the number of attempts (why 4? Why not 5 in the horizontals and throws?)
The HJ is hard, but maybe up the attempts to 4, or reduce to 2? Or keep the number of attempts in the throws but slightly change the weight of the implements?
Maybe for the horizontal jumps have a slightly bigger board and plasticine and keep the number of attempts at 6 still? A subtle change, but enough to remove old records. Hurdles height changes, heptathlon to decathlon or octathlon. Change the order of events in the decathlon, swap round the DT and JT or something? You can go on and on...
There are lots of things that can be done that are subtle but an excuse to change records. The point is, as has been said, athletes are using drugs now, so by deleting past greats and replacing them with new greats acchieves nothing. If the sport really wants to start afresh, insist on blood testing at championships, improve urine testing, bring in life time bans for athletes and coaches and allow top 20 athletes to compete as well as 3 per country
KDFINE wrote:I'm with Kuha in going to yards. Change the weights on the implements. That leaves the four jumps and this is the difficult part. The vault has already been mucked around with by changing the pegs. The same should hold for the high jump. Set a maximum tolerance on the bend a pole can make? Bring back the rule voiding poles that follow the vaulter into the pit. Ban the flop? That leaves the long and triple jumps. The only thing I can think of is to have it as the combined distance in jumping off both the right and left legs. I know it sounds absurd but how else can you change the event?... So if "we" just settle for records for this century (or millenium) and records for the last, (to revive an "old" argument), is the cutoff date December 31, 1999 or December 31, 2000? I'm afraid that those of us visiting this board are concerned about the integrity of the records, but the general public really isn't, or if they are its only to the extent of providing cover for the drug abuses in their beloved mainstream sports.
You are right, all of those proposals are absurd. There is yet another reason why not to scrap those records. What would we talk about here, what speculation, whom (what) would we trash ?
Andrea_T wrote:The HJ is hard, but maybe up the attempts to 4, or reduce to 2?
I've always thought you should get 6 total attempts in the HJ/PV, just like the LJ/TJ. Take them wherever you want. The bar goes up; you decide how many attmpts you want to risk there. There would be LOTS more strategy involved, and more misses, but you could start the Records Counter all over again, that's for sure. In the LJ/TJ, have a meter-deep board, and measure from actual take-off. That would necessitate a new Record Book. Upping the SP/DT/HT weights just a little would be an easy way to start over. Make it an 8kg shot/hammer and a 2.2 kg disc. Changing the Jav balance point or making it an even 1000g would do it too. The running events could go 100 (gotta keep that!) - 250 - 500 - 1000 - 2000 - 4000 - 8000 - Marathon would be 40 or even 50km. Add 2 events to the Dec: Steeplechase!! and HT!
I am not sure anyone addressed the issue of tainted records.
If one really wants to issue moral outrage at drug cheating, or discourage drug cheating, wipe any tainted record off the books, as with Gatlin's or Montgomery's 100M records in the past.
Right now it appears no one really wants to address the issue of tainted records. Either the issue is ignored or expresses a helpless 'Nothing we can do about it'.
Former track stars from Ed Moses to Carl Lewis have expressed problems with the current state of track, esp in the USA. Wouldn't it help to know the sport does not support cheating? That the athletes are clean?
Ignoring the issue is going to keep track as a suspected sport full of pharmacologically enhanced athletes. And look where that has gotten baseball, which is unable to deal with the issue that the most revered career record about to be captured by a drug cheat.
A decade ago, U.S. and British Olympic officials sought IOC redress for swimmers from the 1976 and 1980 Summer Games who they felt were cheated of medals by East Germans later known to have doped. The IOC juridical commission rejected that petition, saying that withdrawing or reassigning the medals would "create a lot of new juridical problems."
Reassigning the medals made no sense, since there is no way to know if the athletes who finished immediately behind the East German medalists were tested for drugs. At the time, swimming did not even test all the winners, let alone other medalists or non-medal-winning finalists.