Records are kept for all events contested at the Olympic Games and some others. Unofficial records for some other events are kept by track and field statisticians. The only non-metric distance for which official records are kept is the mile run.
The criteria which must be satisfied for ratification also apply to national or other restricted records and also to performances submitted as qualifying marks for eligibility to compete in major events such as the Olympic Games.
The criteria include:
The dimensions of the track and equipment used must conform to standards. In road events, the course must be accurately measured, by a certified measurer.
Pacemaker are allowed, provided they have not been lapped; lapped athletes must give way.
Drug testing immediately after the performance is now required for ratification of a record. Existing records which predate this requirement are still extant. Athletes who pass the immediate test but are later found to have been on drugs have their performances......