The world record for the mile, set by John Walker of New Zealand, has come under question from the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).
GV PAN around as Walker finishes final lap in mile
CU Walker speaking
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "If this record isn't recognised, it wouldn't be the first time for you, would it?"
WALKER: SEQ 2: "No, back in 1973 we ran a four by fifteen world record attempt in Oslo and we actually broke the world record by some eight seconds. Unfortunately, that was disqualified and unratified by the IAAF as well, on a technicality that somebody in the opposing team never handed over the baton at the right time to their runners. Now, what the heck, you know, we ran the race. We covered the exact distance at the same time. It's exactly the same with the mile and we were disqualified for that us well."
REPORTER: "Do you see anomalies in the doubts being cast on the mile record in view of recent decisions by the IAAF?"
WALKER: "Well the thing is, you know, that if they're going to start looking at my record, then I think they are going to have to start looking at everybody else. Now thing is that I think that you've really got to got back to the days of Bannister when he broke the four minutes for the mile. Especially where they used a pacemaker and this was deliberate pacing for the first half mile, then somebody else took over for the next lap. I have seen it so many times in 800 metre running when they use somebody to go out very fast for the first quarter then that guy just physically can't finish the next lap. Then it's up to the guy to do the next lap. Now the thing is, you know, we've had here in New Zealand with Peter Snell. There's been Bannister, there's Peter Foster and it Snell. There's been Bannister, there's Peter Foster and it goes on and on. this is just an accepted thing."
This film includes an interview with Walker
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The world record for the mile, set by John Walker of New Zealand, has come under question from the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).
Walker ran the mile in 3:49.4 in Sweden on 12 August but it may not now be approved because the IAAF rules on pace makers may have been infringed.
During the race, swedish runner, Goeran Saevemark, ran the first half mile in one minute 54.2 seconds before dropping out.But a spokesman for the race organisers later said Saevemark had followed the rules in applying to race as a genuine competitor, not as a pacemaker.
It's perhaps ironic that Walker's time, which broke the 3:50 barrier for the first time, should be questioned on the grounds of the rules on pacemaking.
It's now 21 years since Sir Roger Bannister broke the four minute barrier and that race, at the Ifley Road Stadium in Oxford, was a team effort also involving Chris Brascher and Chris Chatterway.
The IAAF intends to make a decision on whether Walkers' time will be ratified before the end of the year.