RESETTING WORLD RECORDS!
One of my followers wrote "resetting track and field world records would be similar to burning a history book and pretending it didn't happen." While I do think that statement has validity, I do think some of the records are tainted but we live in a world where you're innocent until proved guilty. In the event this rule passes, I Dwight Phillips would be the new world record holder, the measuring stick for every child and adult pursing their dreams to land where no man has ever been. Not so fast, Mike Powell jumped an electrifying 8.95 meters in Tokyo in one of the most iconic long jump competitions against Carl Lewis in 1991. Powell had to earn his world record after years of defeat to arguably one of the greatest competitors ever. I can't fall in love with the idea that I would be the owner of the world record by default. While my 8.74 meter jump is respectable, it still isn't 8.95 therefore I could not accept calling myself a world record holder. I would consider accepting that honor if track and field were as subjective as calling a strike in baseball or judging a gymnastics competition. Jay Z said it best, women lie, men lie, numbers don't. The fact remains that athletics is a sport that is based on sheer numbers down to the thousandth and centimeter and it would be a shame to erase Mike Powell's iconic jump in Tokyo and other deserving athletes that broke world records during their time.
Furthermore, changing world records prior to 2005 would not prove anything but acknowledging that fact we knew athletes were cheating and didn't do anything about it. For the one's who did cheat they had an opportunity to capitalize off of their achievements for 30 plus years. Why change the records now? As an Olympic Gold Medalist and 5 time world champion, I've had conversations with athletes all over the world about this rule change and the general consensus is that there no secret that some of the world records set in the 80's and 90's were probably the result of doping but the culture of the sport prior to the IAAF coming up with a more rigorous testing protocol. In the 80's, 90's we witnessed some of the most unbelievable performances ever and this holds true in the new millennium as well. In my opinion many of the records set today are as untouchable as they were in the 80's and 90's. If you really pay attention to the sport some of the same athletes competing during the "doping era" are now coaching. Did they have an epiphany and learn how to coach without drugs, maybe, maybe not! Nevertheless, I do believe as humans we are suppose to evolve as a result of sports medicine, training techniques, and a more intense focus on training and development from a young age.
In closing, I feel that we should preserve the world records and the history of our sport. People doped in the 80's and people are still doping in 2017. The point I'm trying to make is people will try to find that edge to cheat the system as long as money is involved. We have to a implement hasher punishments on doping offenders because they ruin the sport and the deserving moments of triumph for people who should have gotten a chance to celebrate their victories but didn't.