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Marathon cheaters warned

MARATHON runners caught cheating twice will be banned from China’s events for life, the National Sports Bureau said.

Runners found having more than one pin chip during a race, or forging the pin numbers and replacing a runner with another person midway through the race will be barred from all future competitions in China, Xinhua News Agency reported.

“Marathon is becoming a fast-developing sports activity in China, but we have noticed some disciplinary issues,” Wang Dawei, a deputy director at the bureau, said yesterday.

“Some runners fake their identities in marathon races for prize money or for other purposes.”

Wang said first-time violators will be banned from that particular race for life. But if they are caught cheating second time, they will be banned from all marathon and running races approved by Chinese Athletic Association for life.

At last year’s Shanghai International Marathon, organizers found seven men who had registered as women runners. They were caught by pictures taken at the finish line, which showed their bib numbers that were reserved for women runners.

There were over 320 marathon and running competitions held around the country in 2016. The number is expected to increase to 500 this year.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Athletics Association said yesterday that two amateur runners will be selected to take part in the marathon race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The association announced a “Run for Olympics” plan that will reserve two qualifying berths for amateurs, one male runner and one female runner.

Each team can send (at most) three men and three women racers to marathon competitions at the Olympic Games.

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