hi INDiA Copyright 2020
258 runners accused of cheating during Shenzhen Half Marathon
Shenzhen, Nov 29: A total of 258 runners were penalised for cheating in a recent Shenzhen Half Marathon, event organisers said on Thursday.
Organisers found 18 runners with fake bib numbers, three imposters, and 237 other cheaters, of whom a great number had taken shortcuts during last Sunday's event, reports Xinhua news agency.
Runners with fake bib numbers and those who hired imposters are facing a lifetime ban from the event, and the other 237 runners will be banned for two years, according to an announcement by the organising committee.
A video shot by a traffic camera at one section of the course shows some runners crossing from one side of the road to another.
Organisers said runners were supposed to continue running for at least one kilometre before making a u-turn at the end of the road, meaning that runners who took shortcuts would have run two or three kilometres less than the full 21 kilometre distance.
Another picture shot by a local photographer shows two runners with identical bib numbers.
"We deeply regret the violations that occurred during the event. Marathon running is not simply exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every runner is responsible for him or herself," said the announcement.
According to the latest data from the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA), 1,072 marathons and road races have been held in China this year, up from just 22 in 2011.