Two runners who cheated at the Nov. 17 Shanghai International Marathon have been permanently banned from the event. According to organizers and domestic media, one of the two rode a bicycle to make up part of the race's distance.
China is currently in the midst of a major boom in the popularity of running and marathons, but incidents of cheating are spreading at the same pace. At this year's Shanghai Marathon four people were penalized for violating race rules and regulations. The most brazen among them was a female runner who ran with a male bib number and was caught riding a bicycle, according to The Beijing News.
Race organizers said that the woman, identified by her last name Zhao, has been permanently banned from all their events, commenting, "The orderly conduct of the race was significantly disturbed." The man whose bib the woman wore was also permanently banned for "being involved in committing fraud and for failure to prevent the events from happening." The pair will face additional sanctions from the Chinese Athletics Association.
Similar problems have occurred at other Chinese marathons. At March's Xuzhou International Marathon a virtually identical incident took place, with a female runner caught riding a bicycle. At a half marathon in Shenzhen in November, 2018 over 250 runners were found to have cheated, most of them by cutting the course short.
translated by Brett Larner