As many as 11 athletes are awaiting ratification of their National records by the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) since April last year.
Till date 16 new marks have been established either in recognised domestic meets or in international competition that includes Olympics and World Championship. But the official recognition is still awaited.
With the prestigious four-day Open National athletics championship set to commence here from Saturday, it is ironical that the best efforts will remain outside the purview of record breaking efforts.
The AFI, whose technical committee gathers all the details of different parameters before recommending the records for approval, is most probably either unable to confirm or reject the performances purely on the basis of lack of details including dope test results.
For example, K.T. Irfan who set a National best in 20 km walk at the London Olympics by finishing 10th, clocked one hour 20 minutes and 21 seconds. This bettered the existing mark of 1:20:35s by Gurmeet Singh set in 2011. While Irfan’s record is awaiting ratification, the question is whether he underwent dope test at London. People in the know say that in such cases, either the athlete or the country’s official should ask for a dope test by paying a fee.
In the absence of dope test result, one of the parameters for ratifying a record, it will be difficult for either the technical committee, whose chairman is Tony Daniel of Kerala, or the AFI to approve the mark as a National record.
India’s long jump sensation K. Prem Kumar of Tamil Nadu, representing ICF in inter-Railway meet at New Delhi, just before the World championship, touched 8.09m. This effort bettered the previous record of 8.08 by Amritpal Singh set in 2004.
In the absence of a dope test immediately after this record breaking feat, Prem Kumar is unlikely to get his mark approved. It will help a lot if he repeats the feat here — in a meet that fulfills all required norms — and get it ratified because all those who set new records here will be tested for dope apart from those contesting.
When contacted in Kochi, Mr. Daniel said he was aware of all the pending records for ratification. “We are in the process of gathering all details needed to ratify the records and hopefully it would be completed by December,” he said.