Paris - Paula Radcliffe has been reinstated as the holder of the women's world marathon record at two hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds, overturning a controversial decision by the IAAF not recognise the time as such.
In September the sport's ruling body voted to bring in rules from January next year by which only records set in women-only races would be recognised.
Radcliffe's record of 2 hrs 15 mins and 25 secs was set in a mixed field in the 2003 London Marathon, a time which the IAAF said would be reclassified as a "world best", with her time of 2hrs 17mins 42secs set in a women's-only field in London in 2005 becoming the world record.
However, the IAAF has backtracked on that decision at its council meeting in Monaco this week.
A statement read: "The IAAF Council has approved the continued recognition of the currently existing world records, regardless of the type of race in which they were achieved (mixed or women only) and new records will be officially recognised and ratified only if achieved in women-only races."
In theory that makes it harder for any woman to now break Radcliffe's record, although the Briton has always denied receiving assistance from the male runners in 2003.