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Posted: August 12, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: IAAF adopts "no false start" rule beginning in 2010

BERLIN - The IAAF Congress on Wednesday approved a new rule that will disqualify athletes the first time they false start in any given race. The rule will take effect January 1, 2010.

The rule will replace the current false-start policy of the first false-start being charged to the entire field, with only subsequent false-starts resulting in disqualification. Implementation is set for 2010 in order to enable athletes to become accustomed to the rule well ahead of the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Speaking in support of the rule change, IAAF President Lamine Diack pointed to the NCAA's longstanding no false start rule as evidence that such a rule is practical and enforceable. He stated his belief that "the current rule gives sprinters the chance to play the system," he said, "to deliberately false start but not be punished for it."

The rule change was approved by a vote of 97 to 55, with six abstentions. The IAAF Congress on Wednesday also approved defining masters as age 40 and over for long-distance running and road racing.

The IAAF Congress is being held in Berlin prior to the start of the 12th IAAF World Outdoor Championships, which begin Saturday and conclude August 23.

For more information on the World Championships, visit

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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