258 Runners Disqualified from China's Shenzhen Half-Marathon for Cheating

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

Runners take part in the Shanghai International Marathon in Shanghai on November 18, 2018. (Photo by - / AFP) / China OUT        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
-/Getty Images

258 runners were disqualified from the Shenzhen half-marathon on November 25 for cheating.

According to Chinese state-run media Xinhua (h/t Ben Westcott of CNN), 258 of the competitors of the 16,000-strong field had their race times chalked off after a number of rules were broken.

It's suggested some of those caught cheating hadn't followed the predefined route, while others hired people to run in their place instead of completing the 13.1-mile distance themselves.

"We deeply regret the violations that occurred during the event," said the organisers, per Xinhua. "Marathon running is not simply exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every runner is responsible for him or herself."

ABC News relayed footage of some of the competitors taking a diversion during the race:


CAUGHT CHEATING: Traffic camera captures half-marathon runners taking a shortcut through the trees during a race in Shenzhen, China. In all, 258 runners in Sunday's race were reportedly punished for various methods of cheating. https://t.co/giSv2fYmEf https://t.co/8E6aBmardR

CNN added that those who cut across the course shortened their race distance by as much as 1.8 miles.

Per Xinhua (h/t CNN), some runners were also caught with the same number on their bibs. 

It's added that those caught with repeated numbers or hiring someone else to run for them picked up a lifetime ban from the event. The remaining 237 were slapped with two-year suspensions.