Following the false start and disqualification of Usain Bolt in the World Championships 100m athletics sprint final in Daegu the sports governing body the IAAF are to hold emergency talks with a view to changing the rules in time for the start of next years 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The most likely outcome of the talks now taking place will be to bring in a human version of greyhound racing's starting traps.
"The human athlete starting traps will have to be made slightly bigger than the greyhound traps" said a spokesperson for the IAAF. "This is because people are bigger than greyhounds" he explained. "However, the principle will be the same with races being started by some kind of electrically driven lure speeding around the track on a rail causing the traps to spring open as it passes them. When the traps open the athletes will fly out from them then chase after the lure in the same way as the greyhound racing dogs do.'
"It's unlikely to be the same artificial 'bunny rabbit' lure as is used with the greyhounds. For the human athletes the lure will perhaps be a replica gold medal for them to chase after. A gold medal lure will encourage the athletes to chase after it as fast as they can."
EU Health and Safety rules will probably mean athletes having to wear some kind of face protection similar to the muzzles worn by greyhounds, not to stop them from biting the other competitors during the races, but because facial injuries could otherwise be caused to athletes like Usain Bolt who anticipate the start of their race too early. Doing that against the still locked front doors of the traps without appropriate facial protection being worn could obviously lead to some very badly broken noses.
When nervous greyhounds are approaching the traps before a race they are often seen to urinate or even to stop for a minute or so to have a crap on the grass. The IAAF spokesperson said it was too early to say whether the changes to the rules for the human athletes would include allowing them to do the same, but that it was unlikely to be given the green light by the IAAF in time for next years 2012 London Olympic Games.