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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Gatlin queries false start change
Justin Gatlin in the blocks ahead of last year's Olympic 100m final in Athens
Gatlin is not alone in voicing concern about changing the false start rule
American sprinter Justin Gatlin is opposed to moves by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to change the false start rule.

Under the current rule, the athlete making the second false start of a race is disqualified regardless of whether they were responsible for the first.

But the IAAF wants the first athlete to make a false start to be disqualified.

But America's 100m Olympic champion said: "Just a flinch or a leg cramp could cost you a year's worth of work."

Gatlin, who also won 4x100m relay silver and the 200m bronze medals in Athens last summer, added: "I think the current system works efficiently."

Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell, Zhanna Block - the 2001 world 100m champion - and Jamaican high hurdler Maurice Wignall have also expressed reservations about the proposed reform.

However, four-times world 110m hurdles champion Allen Johnson reluctantly agreed that there should be a change.

"My personal feeling is that 10% of false starts are real accidents, 90% are due to insecurity or lack of focus. If you focus, you don't false start," the American said.

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