Diack: False Start Rule Stays

‘No Chance’ of Rule Change, IAAF Chief Says


Published: September 3, 2011 at 3:33 AM ET

DAEGU, South Korea (Reuters) - Athletics chief Lamine Diack maintained the hardest of lines on Saturday, telling Reuters there would be no changing or bending of the rules to prevent big names being disqualified.

“No chance,” the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president said in an interview at the Daegu world championships.

The start of the championships was marred by the disqualification of two of the sport’s biggest names on technicalities, depriving fans and broadcasters of the chance to see the greatest names in the biggest races.

The world’s fastest man Usain Bolt was scratched from the 100 meters final for making a false start under the IAAF’s one-false-start-and-you’re-out rule.

A day later, Cuba’s Dayron Robles was dramatically stripped of his 110 meters hurdles gold medal for bumping China’s Liu Xiang along the track.

The rules are the rules, Diack stressed, and they are good ones. He said that the biggest eye-opener of the championships so far had been Bolt’s disqualification but that he had seen nothing to persuade him any rules needed changing.

“I think it was Bolt disqualified by false start, I did not expect this,” he chuckled, when asked what had surprised him most about these Games.

"(But) I work for this rule. I like very much this rule, I vote for having this rule.

“(In the past) all athletes have the possibility to have one (false start), so you can have eight,” he said, warming to his theme in a suite of the south-east Korean city’s Inter-Burgo hotel.

"Think about television… it was disturbing to have everybody able to make a false start.

"After that we said ‘one’. And we see that some are making it voluntarily and still stay in the competition. So now we say we do not want one voluntarily disturbing the competition.

“So I am happy with the rule,” he added, stressing there was “no chance” of changing it.

“He (Bolt) understands that because he made a false start and immediately he takes off his T-shirt and says ‘ok I go out’.”

The 78-year-old Senegalese was equally dismissive of any suggestions of leniency for burly world record holder and Olympic champion Robles in the traditionally physical 110 meters hurdles.

"I am in favor (of the disqualification).

"If he obstructs Liu he has to be disqualified. But not to ask the others to re-run. I don’t know why you ask the others of the eight to run because Mr Robles obstruct Mr Liu.

“He has to be out… it is the rule.”

(Editing by John O’Brien)

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Interesting that Diack confirms the no-break start rule was brought in primarily for television… but I’d rather watch the tension build in the sprints than see the third heat of the 800m in the heptathlon plod around. If TV wants to save time and stick more advertisements into their coverage, do it when the no-hopers are trundling around.

I agree with the elimination of the first rule… That was ridiculous. The second rule… Allowing only one start was fair. The introduction of the current rule was bad move… It’s bad that many have to be punished for the stupidity of a few. Oh well, life goes on.

and he can go suck himself

people don’t cry, it’s good rule

It’s a bullshit rule. The 100m is a sport determined by speed and they are saying that athletes have to hold back for the happiness of TV audiences and commercial interests. The athletes are being hurt to sell more ad revenue. That’s bullshit. It’s not sports. And it will hurt them down the road when nobody sees the biggest names in the sport finishing a race. Then they’ll rescind it because it ends up costing them money. Still the wrong reason but at least the athletes won’t be hurt for the glee of the spectators and channel owners.

I know it’s sad what’s happened with Bolt, but I think he won’t repeat FS anymore. My main reason is that it prevents gamesmanship. The race starts when the gun goes off and not before. Guessing the gun is cheating. In swimming no problem. Train for it, wait for the gun sound and run! How many times Asafa Powell FS? He ran many races

Should they also remove the “one-step on the line and out” rule in the 200? What if Bolt stepped on the line in the heats? IMO, that’s a harder one not to violate than waiting for the gun to start.

You can step on the outside line not the inside one because you are shortening the distance.

I wonder what the fastest man in the world thinks of the false start rule.

Diack is a dope. Most of the IAAF professionals were actually happy with the old start rule dating back to 1908. Off the record they would confide this to be fact. I prefer the one break and a warning to the entire field, brought in a few years ago. But no-start is no brains. And gamesmanship will always be part of the game. What about ther Blake Shake? He says he always does that! Why! Kick him out too? Why not just cancel the 100 altogether. Diack back to Senegal where you can rule happily ever after. Sadly while he remains the choice of least controversy for IAAf president, the Council will comply with whatever are his wishes. Including this no-break rule. It stinks.

Lets see what kind of pressure usoc puts on the iaaf. what happens if bolt gay and powell all fs. I see a riot. We need to make sure that dirty dick diack is the target

The previous rule of one break and a warning to the entire field is unfair. Why entire field should be warned for one unlucky who FSed? Then bring the old rule when every sprinter can FS once, so it’s fair, but you know it’s not the best choice. Now Bolt FSed and all starts complaining “it’s bad for fans, it’s bad for entire track and field and so on”.If most of the fans sees only Bolt so I think it’s media problem while not giving enough attention to other athletes. For sure many fans didn’t know who the Blake was. About Blake’s Shake, so if he always does that he should get exception rule b/c he always does that and he can’t do anything about it? If he always does that so even with the previous FS rule he would be DQied? Please tell me why in swimming this rule isn’t a problem?

“Bolt, who had not spoken at length since his disqualification, resisted calling for a change in the false-start rule, which has been under increased scrutiny. Bolt also declined to blame Blake, whose left leg twitched before Bolt’s false start.”

Bolt is the darling of IAAF. He is NOT going to criticise them. He and his management know that if they “behave” IAAF will be there for him many years after he retires until the day he dies. Carl Lewis eventually understood that, like Michael Johnson eventually did also. To be embraced by IAAF is a sinecure.
But that doesn’t make the false start rule good for the sport.
Certainly TV pays the bills so they must be accommodated but athletics is just prostituting itself like some cheap whore rolling over for TV in the present circumstances.
Either false start rule was preferable to the current situation. But the one-for-the-field meets TV more than halfway.
If you cannot comprehend what is happening here then lets just agree to disagree.

Having walked away from both coaching and officiating at national level I comprehend what is happening, yes I disagree with you.

One reason might be that reaction off the blocks has about as much significance in swimming sprints as it does to the final outcome of the track 400m race. That is, no correlation at all. But in a track race that can last as little as 10sec, reaction time can decide medals.

While the IAAF legislature is unlikely to be influenced by what is discussed here, in my view, the false start rule must be individual to each sprinter on the track.

The only reason the rule was created in the first place, and then modified, was due to factors of time and, in my view, last year’s modification of the rule was erroneous long before Bolt DQ’d the other day.

Throwers get X amount of attempts regardless if they foot or sector foul every one, same logic for jumpers; however, they’re also lucky if they get enough air time for someone not to miss it if they go to the fridge for a beer.

As a former HS track coach and huge fan of the sport I’m willing to sit around as long as it takes to reset the field and see a good race and maybe the TV people who are slaves to their cruel masters might be willing to show more than a highlight blip of the field events during the interim.

Not sure if I remember correctly, but Charlie preferred either the original rule or the current one, nothing in between. Goes with his training philosophy, no? :slight_smile: If someone could confirm it?

I totally agree with him.

The rules are there to see that no athlete is given an unfair advantage. Every athlete should be given the same opportunity.

A few years ago in the Modesto Relays there was a 100m with, I think, 3 false starts. The first one they never got around to charging. The second was charged to the field, and the third was an ejection.

There was a similar situation in US Nationals a few years ago, where some claimed there was a FS by Gatlin that was never charged or called (don’t remember which).

I think I prefer where a guy who does not go around misusing the competition rules, and this could be Lemaitre as well as Bolt or Gay, is simply granted some slack by the refs. In the case this time, they could have said something like “We can’t tell if someone else jumped to cause him to FS, so we’re not going to charge it.”

I do see that, far more than WC, the Olympics are on a tight schedule and there simply isn’t room for what I saw in Modesto, or the more famous case involving Linford.