>With the Jones affair finally coming out the way we figured it would, it’s time to revisit an interesting statistical situation.
Since about 1990, when random out-of-competition testing was finally introduced in the wake of the Ben Johnson scandal, most women’s world records have not been seriously threatened. Within the next two years the eastern European totalitarian Communist regimes fell and their state-sponsored doping programs went with them. Prior to 1990, “doping control” was in name only; in practical terms drug use was basically not prohibited.
So a stat-head such as myself finds it useful to begin a new world record progression in 1992. To further make sense of what we have, I only use marks by athletes who have never been caught doping (and also ignore strange one-off results by Chinese athletes in 1993 and 1997). In the sprints, it’s a very interesting change. Here’s what I’ve got; if I accidentally include someone who has taken a “doping vacation”, please let me know and I’ll fix it.
|10.94||Carlette Guidry||USA||New York||6/14/1991|
That last time by Arron sticks out like a sore thumb. Her career second-best time, 10.81, was in the semis at the same meet (the 1998 European Championships). After that, her best is 10.85.
In short, be suspicious of anyone who can consistently run sub-10.8. Sherone Simpson has put up 10.87 and 10.82 this year; no red flags here.