I completely agree 100% with what HRE said in that post. There are numerous impacts long-term to the sport by cutting people out who have actually run qualifying standards.
I have coached a guy who is from a small country for the past few years (equal population to the size of Columbus, Ohio). He has solid PR's of sub 3:40, sub 7:50, sub 13:35 and 1:03 half-marathons all run multiple times and actually holds a handful of national records. He is also a good road racer and is currently preparing for his debut marathon. He has won he biggest races in his country and has actually fared decently well at international championships in various events, normally because they are more tactical. Thankfully his country sends any athlete in any event who hits the qualifying standard established by the IAAF (Worlds), IOC (Olympics), etc. in track, roads and xc.
He was kind of the guy to get some good finishes because of the opportunities he was given and as a result the depth of quality running in his country has increased and they will likely have 4-5 distance runners on the men's side and about the same on the women's side competing in Rio which has generated more interest in the sport and the trickle down has increased the quality with the junior athletes coming up the ranks. I've watched all of this happen.
Some of you need to really look at your history. A) If you remove the PED results then there are A LOT of good distance runners / track athletes who would be competing at the international level. B) Especially in the marathon where I could list MANY runners who have fared very well in international championships who had modest PR's coming in, but prepared very specifically for that race (course, conditions, etc.) and placed very well. Just look at the last World Championships results in Beijing, there are several top 20 finishers (which is also counted as an Olympic A standard in the marathon) who had modest PR's, but raced well on the day.
Great Britain tried to screw Lee Merrien in the 2012 London Olympics. He had run under the Olympic standard twice and been the top UK finisher at the London Marathon, yet they were only going to send two guys instead of using all three spots (while hosting the freakin' Olympics in their home country) until after a huge uproar by the public in the media then they finally caved in and included him on the team. Merriam then went on to be the TOP UK finisher at the London Olympics marathon.
That same mentality is why most of the western world is falling behind in the distance running because of their federations skewed standards (top 8, top 10, etc.) which is non-sense and as alluded to it is how you kill the sport with disillusioned young athletes and coaches who give up.
The sport of track&field, cross country and marathoning is about opportunity. An athlete has to have an opportunity to compete in order to earn a place. Without that then there is no development and the sport dies. Why discourage clean athletes based on the skewed results of PED users or extreme out-liers in the sport?
A 2:12:50 marathon is no joke. On a given day you have no idea what someone is prepared to do at a championship race, as alluded to earlier in a post Steve Spence won the bronze at the World Champs in 2:15 with a 2:12 PR. Look up Michael Shelley who just won the Commonwealth Games marathon and the people that he beat. Check out the Olympic and World Championship results throughout history and look out the background of a lot of those people.