The first world record in the men's discus was recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 1912, and was set by James Duncan in 1912 (47.58 m).
As of 2011, 42 world records have been ratified by the IAAF in the event. Another 14 are acknowledged but are unofficial since they were set before the founding of IAAF.
On July 7, 1981 Ben Plucknett of the United States won a meet in Stockholm with a world record throw of 72.34 m (237 ft 4 in), but the record was nullified by the I.A.A.F. one week later when they announced that Plucknett had tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid nortestosterone.