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Will erasing world records cure athletics or just bury the past? | Sean Ingle

Jonathan Edwards and Paula Radcliffe are among those who will have longstanding records wiped under new rules but is it window-dressing?

When Lionel Messi slaloms away from three, four, five players, before dabbing a shot past the keeper with the cool nonchalance of a movie star stubbing out a cigarette, millions of jaws go into freefall. It is the same when Ronnie O’Sullivan machine-guns around a snooker table, or Roger Federer whips his wrist to slap a scudding cross-court winner. Their genius makes us giddy.

Yet when a track and field star produces something equally extraordinary, our inner detective moves to high alert. We have been duped, deceived and played for fools so many times now that a world record no longer becomes a moment of pure joy and exhilaration but a potential crime scene.

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