World Athletics 2011: False-start rule will not change for 2012 Olympics

Athletics' governing body has confirmed it will not change the false-start rule before the 2012 Olympics in London.

The rule - which sees any athlete making a false start disqualified - led to world record holder Usain Bolt missing the 100m final.

But president Lamine Diack said no one at Sunday's IAAF council meeting had asked for the rule to be changed.

Diack said: "We will not come back to the issue. Bolt had a false start but that is not going to make us change."

Many, including Jamaican officials, had called for the IAAF to reconsider the rule to avoid having a star like Bolt disqualified in similar circumstances in London.

Yet the athlete himself said his disqualification had been "a lesson" and did not demand a change to the rules, as Diack pointed out.

IAAF vice-president Bob Hersh had earlier said no action should be taken until further talks.

"I'd rather not have Usain false start in London. But the start's not separate from the race; it is part of the race

London 2012 chief Lord Coe

"It's not on any current agenda but I wouldn't be surprised if it were reviewed," Hersh told BBC sports editor David Bond.

"We will have to go back and talk to our stakeholders and discuss further."

Hersh also pointed out that Bolt, the 100m world record-holder and the reigning Olympic 100m and 200m champion, had backed the new rule when it was proposed in 2009. 

Former world 1500m champion and BBC commentator Steve Cram also agrees with the rule, which was amended in 2010 to automatically disqualify anyone moving before the gun.

He said: "There's nothing wrong with the false-start rule, people have got used to it and accept it and actually it's there to help people like him.

"Having this rule of no twitching, one and you're out, stops people messing around."

No special rules for Bolt - IAAF

Until 2001, every athlete had the right to one false start before risking disqualification but that led on occasion to several aborted starts before a race took place and was changed partly because of demands from television broadcasters.

Under the second version of the rule, athletes had the right to make one false start and then the whole field was given a warning with any subsequent false starts leading to disqualification.

But that brought the risk of what IAAF director of communications Nick Davies called "a bit of gamesmanship", with athletes looking to remove any advantage fast starters have by deliberately false starting to put the field under pressure, hence a further change for 2010.

The World Championships also saw high-profile false-start disqualifications for British duo Christine Ohuruogu and Dwain Chambers .

RULE 162.7

An athlete, after assuming a full and final set position, shall not commence his start until after receiving the report of the gun. If, in the judgement of the starter or recallers, he does so any earlier, it shall be deemed a false start. Except in combined events, any athlete responsible for a false start shall be disqualified

London 2012 chief Lord Coe, an IAAF vice-president, said: "The issue is very simple for me. You have to be consistent. You have a rule and you don't suddenly revisit it because a high-profile athlete has fallen foul.

"I'd rather not have Usain false start in London. But the start's not separate from the race; it is part of the race. It's not a technical nicety. It's part of the sport like a knockout punch in boxing.

"You pay to watch a title fight in Vegas knowing that a fighter might get knocked down in the first round."

However World 100m silver medallist Walter Dix, who finished behind Jamaican Yohan Blake, said: "That false-start [rule] is killing us. Hopefully it will change by London."

And bronze medallist Kim Collins of Saint Kitts added: "At least give the field one false-start."