<But this whole exercise of trying to "purge" the record books is doomed to failure. Sure, we "know" or can guess that some records are bad. (Legal proof, however, is much harder to come by than simple hunches or intuition.) However, some records may well have been set by "drug-users" when such use was completely LEGAL. As I've observed elsewhere, the use of performance enhancing substances of one form or another goes WAY back. The two greatest runners of the 1880s were both employed in the pharmacy trade and knew, for example, about stimulants. The REAL history of all this stuff may never be written...but its clear (to me at least) that the historical use of "supplemental" substances is more complex than we currently know, and that there is NO clear dividing line between "dirty" and "clean"--whatever line there is is in a vast margin of grey. In short: I see no fair way of pretending we can fully "cleanse" the record books. >
Not that we are saying that they used performance enhancing drugs in the last century. But when you say the two greatest runners of the 1880s, I presume you mean Lon Myers and Walter George?