Global athletics chief Lord Coe has hinted that governing body the IAAF may reject controversial proposals to wipe out all world records set before 2005.
Coe said that he welcomed the debate but appeared to distance himself from the radical plans set out by European Athletics, adding that they may need to be changed.
The proposals have drawn criticism from high-profile athletes, including British marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe, and sparked threats of legal action.
“The debate, which has been propagated by the European Athletics Association, these are proposals that will have to come to the IAAF for global discussion, and that’s exactly where we are,” said IAAF president Coe.
“I welcome the debate – and there has to be a debate – and these proposals will come back to the [IAAF] council. And I look forward to, maybe, counter-proposals, changes, thoughts around it. But I do think we have to start somewhere.”
The plans, to be discussed when the IAAF meets in August, are an attempt to restore credibility to athletics, which has been damaged by a string of doping scandals.
Some athletes have criticised the plans, with Radcliffe calling them “cowardly”, and long jump record-holder Mike Powell labelling them “an injustice and a slap in the face”.