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 Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 14:30 GMT
Sprint rule well received
The new sprint rule comes into effect in February
Olympic gold medallist Allan Wells has given his support to the new sprinting false-start rule and believes it will enhance athletics.

The IAAF has decreed a runner will be disqualified for the second false start in a race no matter who was guilty of the first.

The Scottish hero of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 believes the new legislation will prevent gamesmanship from the blocks in the future.

"Sometimes an athlete will make a false start deliberately," said Wells.

Sometimes an athlete will make a false start deliberately

Allan Wells
"There are things which individuals do and they must change. It will root out people who shouldn't be in the top three places."

British indoor 100 metres record holder Jason Gardener also voiced support for the ruling, which will take effect for the first time at the Norwich Union International at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow on 2 February.

The former world junior silver medallist believes the ruling can eliminate multiple starts in races.

"With the old rule it's been very annoying, especially in championships where you could be in a semi-final and there could be six false starts," said Gardener, who will defend his 60 metres title in Glasgow.

"By the end of the race it can feel like a prolonged training session and you end up physically and mentally exhausted.

"A small twitch on the blocks could be drastic in terms of the competition with an athlete having to leave the arena without having been able to compete.

"But all athletes will have to become more disciplined."

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 British indoor 100 metres record holder Jason Garden
"I think it's going to be positive for the sport"
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