• London 2012

Radcliffe riled by 'unfair' ruling

ESPN staff
September 22, 2011

British long-distance runner Paula Radcliffe has bemoaned the "messy" ruling that stripped her of a marathon world record.

Radcliffe's 2003 run of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds is no longer valid because it was run in a mixed environment, according to new rules passed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The edict is designed to stop male pacemakers from carrying women to quicker times.

The new world record is Radcliffe's 2005 London time of 2:17:42 - but she has expressed disappointment at losing her previous mark.

"I think it is a decision that is going to be hard to fully enforce," she told www.runnersworld.com. "Look at how many national and area records are set in mixed races. I also think it is a little unfair. If they were going to make that rule, it should have been so from the beginning when world records came in on the roads. Now it is messy.

"In my two mixed races it was not my decision to have male runners with me, but that of the race organisers, and in each case I very consciously ran alongside them rather than ever behind. Indeed, in London, I was actively racing the two guys.

"Furthermore, I fully believe that I would have run pretty much the same time that day alone. However, rules are rules and I can't stress about things that are out of my control."

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