That decision has now been made, and, indeed, the rules are going to be applied retroactively. According to today's report on ESPN:
"Under new rules passed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Radcliffe's 2003 mark of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds is no longer valid as a world record because it was run in a mixed environment.
For full story, see ESPN.co.uk
The new rules, designed to discourage male pacemakers from helping women to achieve quicker times, means that Radcliffe's mark, set at the 2003 London Marathon is no longer a women's world record, but a world best. Her 2005 London time of 2:17:42 has been upgraded to the world record."And just to prove how controversial this ruling is, two major world marathon organizations, World Major Marathons (WMM) and the Association of International Marathons (AIMS), threw their combined weight against the ruling, stating in a joint letter:
"The Boards of both WMM and AIMS have reviewed the recent Congress decision and believe that it does not represent what is required by the sport of road running...They further believe that there should be two world records for women's road running performances, separately recognising those achieved in mixed competition and women's only conditions...AIMS and WMM will continue to acknowledge both types of performances as world records and will discuss this matter further with the IAAF, recognising that the vast majority of women's road races throughout the world are held in mixed conditions..."And perhaps the most telling line from the letter:
"The current situation where the fastest time is not now recognised as a record is confusing and unfair and does not respect the history of our sport."But unless the ruling is overturned, the women's fastest marathon time drops back to Radcliffe's 2:17 (in 2005), not her much faster 2:15 (in 2003).