Statement of European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen

Statement of European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen
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As communicated on 1 May, the European Athletics Council has forwarded a unanimously approved report containing proposals for restoring the credibility of European and World Records to the IAAF for its consideration.

These proposals are part of a wider set of actions being worked on by European Athletics that are intended to address the governance and integrity challenges faced by our sport and help rebuild the trust we require to best serve athletes and other stakeholders in Europe and around the world.

Many of these stakeholders, and in particular current and former athletes, have responded directly to us and through both traditional and social media. We are satisfied that we have already achieved our primary aim of initiating a long-overdue and inclusive conversation on this important and emotive topic.

As might have been expected, the reactions have been mixed. There is certainly consensus within all the stakeholder groups that the current record lists are problematic, that few people have confidence in all the European and World Records and that something substantial needs to be done to correct the situation.

In addition, there is strong support for the three main conditions proposed for the recognition of future records (records to be set in designated competitions, minimum number of doping control tests in the 12 months prior to the record and storage of the post-record doping control sample for 10 years).

The most controversy comes from some of the current record holders who, of course, would be personally affected by the proposed reassignment of record recognition. We must be aware of and sympathetic to their concerns.

Speaking for European Athletics, I am now expecting a period of further consultation during which the feedback from all stakeholders can be collected and analysed. If anyone wants to contribute they can write to the following email address that we created at the beginning of this process: recordsreview@european-athletics.org. At the same time, detailed work on the implementation and possible impact of our proposals can take place.

We would like for everyone concerned to carefully read the whole report, which is published in multiple languages on the European Athletics website, and continue the discussion by all means. If new ideas or better approaches emerge they should be considered and incorporated into the debate.

The findings of this further consultation will be forwarded to the IAAF Council to inform their own discussions.

Our hope is that in the end the selection of the way forward will be based on calm consideration, rational arguments and a consensus on what is best for all athletes and the sport as a whole.

I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this conversation to date for their valued input and their concern for the future of our great sport of athletics.