- World Athletics Championships
IAAF defends false start rule after Bolt DQ
Athletics' governing body has stood firm on the controversial false start rule that saw world record holder Usain Bolt disqualified from the world 100m final.
Defending champion Bolt was shown the red card after jumping the gun in Sunday's blue riband event at the World Championships in South Korea. Under a new rule introduced in January 2010, any any athlete responsible for a false start is disqualified.
Bolt's absence paved the way for his training partner Yohan Blake to claim world gold, while British athletes Christine Ohuruogu and Dwain Chambers have also fallen foul of the rule, prompting calls for the International Association of Athletics Federations to reconsider the rule.
But the IAAF insisted that "a sport's credibility depends on its rules" and refused to admit the new false start rule was unforgiving.
"Of course we're very disappointed Usain Bolt false-started but the rules are the rules, they're the same for every athlete and we have to be fair and apply them to every athlete," spokesman Nick Davies said.
"Usain will be back to run again and I think he would be first to admit he did false start and that's the way it goes."
"While the IAAF is, of course, disappointed that Usain Bolt false-started in the final of the 100m, it is important to remember that a sport's credibility depends on its rules, and they must also be applied consistently and fairly for ALL athletes," said a statement on the IAAF website.
Until 2001, every athlete had the right to one false start before disqualification, but a change in the rules deemed that one false start would be a warning for all competitors, and an athlete would then be disqualified for a subsequent false start.
Then in 2009, delegates from IAAF member federations voted in favour of the new rule, which critics claim takes the attempt to streamline the sport too far.