TO:            IAAF
                   Att: Istvan Gyulai, General Secretary

                   FAX No  +45 8654 5587

DATE:   15 August 1999

Number of pages including this:  1  

If you have any problems receiving this fax, please phone: +45 8654 5587


Re: False Start Apparatus

Dear Istvan,

In the IAAF NEWS, July 1999 it is mentioned that an automatic recall device will be used in Seville.

In Rule 162.8 is stated: The Starter or any Recaller, who is of the opinion that the start was not a fair one, shall recall the competitors by firing a gun. Note: In practice, when one or more competitors makes a false start---The Starter should warn only such competitor---who, in his opinion, were responsible for the false start.
in Rule 162.10 is stated: As soon as the Starter or an assigned Recaller hears the acoustic signal-----there shall be a recall.

These are the rules about how, and by whom, a false start is detected, and action taken, which means that there is no rule which allows for the use of an automatic recall device, and equally, or perhaps more, important, the general principle is that in any case it shall be an appointed person who shall be responsible, and who shall act in case of a false start, and decide/establish who is responsible.

This makes me wonder whether it is possible, without an appropriate rule change, to introduce an automatic recall device, no matter how perfect this may be, and it seems obvious that such a rule change could have been put before the Congress in Seville. Moreover, this may also mean that the road is wide open for any athlete who wants to make a protest, having been made responsible for a false start, or maybe even having been disqualified.

Apart from the above, such a new and generally unknown, and unspecified device raises a number of questions as to itīs way of functioning.

 Earlier this year you wrote: "Letīs discuss about the false start". Well, I wrote to you last year about this subject, and I enclose copies of the complete correspondence. However, to my information, nothing has turned up in the meantime which indicates that any set of requirements or specifications has been introduced. The new recall device must obviously be based on the hitherto known systems, which in turn may be based on different specifications, such as the amount of pressure required on the foot plates, and I do not think that this speaks in favour of adding yet a new device, as long as these questions have not been solved.

Kind regards,
Georg M. Facius