Ministry of Truth, Revisited

Now THAT's Amateur has a great piece this morning on world records that have not been ratified by the IAAF, the world governing body for the sport of athletics, because of a failure to properly document the conditions of the competition site and athletic body under which the record was achieved. Specifically,

the IAAF has refused to ratify at least three world record performances in 2006 because the testing laboratory failed to test an athlete's urine for EPO. You heard that right; not for a failed test, but for a failure to perform the test properly. … The most recent record to be rejected was for the men's 25 km road race, where Ethiopia's legendary Haile Gebreselassie recorded a time of 1:11.37 in the Netherlands earlier this year. That accomplishment will not stand as a world record, thanks to bureaucratic incompetence.

If such bureaucratic incompetence exists in the relatively brief window of time during which a world record is ratified, particularly given the immense stakes involved, then what potential is there for incompetence over an eight-year period of time, when only gold medals are at stake?

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