UK Athletics to rule on legality of Rutherford’s controversial British long jump record


May 1, 2014 (ISN) – Britain’s athletic authorities will make a ruling in mid-May on Greg Rutherford’s controversial British long jump record of 8.51 metres.

The national body UK Athletics (UKA), which also uses the title British Athletics for marketing purposes, has confirmed it will decide whether the jump – which Rutherford’s rival Chris Tomlinson claimed was shown by video evidence to be “a large foul” – should be ratified.

UKA has confirmed that Chula Vista was a USA Track & Field-sanctioned meet, with USA Track & Field officials present. 

The governing body for the sport in the United States has insisted that marks at the Chula Vista meeting in San Diego are “verified and legal”.

A UKA spokeswoman told Athletics Weekly: “With any new British record, British Athletics receives paperwork from the event the athlete competed in and this goes before the British Athletics technical advisory group, who then ratify the record based on a number of sanctions being completed.”

The technical advisory group comprises around 10 people, including international technical delegates who have major international championship experience.

Awkwardly for UK Athletics, the home page of its website is currently promoting the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Games, to be held at Hampden Park from July 11 to 12, with a picture of Rutherford highlighting his 8.51m jump and with the headline: “See More Records Broken!”

Before the Olympic champion’s effort last week at the Olympic Training Centre in Chula Vista, both men shared the British record on 8.35m, with Rutherford setting that mark at the same venue in 2012.

Chris Tomlinson, who previously shared the British record of 8.35m with Rutherford, insists his questioning of the latest mark is not personal ©Getty Images
Chris Tomlinson, who previously shared the British record of 8.35m with Rutherford, insists his questioning of the latest mark is not personal ©Getty Images

Rutherford added 16cm to his best to establish the world’s leading performance of the season, but following the competition, grainy images from a video on YouTube, and freeze-frame footage, appeared to show the 27-year-old’s toe was over the board.

It also appeared that there was no strip of Plasticine beyond the take-off board to take imprints – as required by the International Association of Athletics Federation’s rule 184.3.

The freeze-frame picture only shows the bottom part of a leg on the board, and there is no certainty that it is a picture of the record jump.

“I don’t want to sit and make it look like it’s an attack on Greg,” said Tomlinson. 

“But let’s look at the evidence.

“There’s video evidence that’s circulating around that clearly states that it’s not a marginal foul it’s a large foul jump. 

“We are British Athletics and we have to almost set an example. 

“We’ve got to be above all this. 

“And if we are going to set national records these records have to be proper, national records set legitimately that people are happy with and that people can accept.

“Now the jumping world, literally, are just laughing about this particular competition. 

“So if we are starting to accept this then, for me, personally, I just think we are maybe losing a little bit of the essence of the sport.

“This isn’t necessarily about breaking records, winning medals and making money. 

“This should be about what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Rutherford himself said: “All the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. 

“Ultimately, I wouldn’t do it if it was not an official competition because the risk of jumping well and it not being official would absolutely gut me.”

Intro Photo: Greg Rutherford’s 8.51m British long jump record set in San Diego last week will be examined by UK Athletics in mid-May before it is ratified by them ©Getty Images

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