Doping has certainly contributed to some world records in the past, so in response, European Athletics is preparing to go overboard.
The organization has submitted a proposal to the IAAF that would essentially rewrite the entire record book and only keep a record if it met the following requirements, according to the BBC:
- It was achieved at a competition on a list of approved international events where the highest standards of officiating and technical equipment can be guaranteed;
- The athlete had been subject to an agreed number of doping control tests in the months leading up to it;
- The doping control sample taken after the record was stored and available for re-testing for 10 years.
If that seems like an insane burden of proof, it is! What’s the reason for it? The fact that European Athletics takes world records way, way too seriously, according to one quote.
Svein Arne Hansen, the European Athletics president, said world records “are meaningless if people don’t really believe them.”
World records aren’t really a thing that need to withstand the scrutiny of conspiracy-theory truthers. They aren’t that important. Hell, there’s a world record for the largest gathering of twerkers. It’s not like world records must all be verified to this degree, and nobody is refusing to watch track and field events because they think some records might be fake.
Moreover, while these records are certainly momentous for those who hold them, they aren’t of such vital importance that they need to undergo tests that would wipe out many legitimate records. And the fact that they are so momentous for the people who worked hard to achieve them means that they shouldn’t be pulled for no reason other than some people’s fanatical desire to rid the world of doping, hurting many innocent people along the way.