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Three Chinese runners accused of cheating in Boston Marathon

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 4/22/2019 By Emily Sweeney and John R. Ellement
a group of people playing frisbee in a parking lot: Three Chinese runners are accused of cheating in the 2019 Boston Marathon. © David L. Ryan/Globe Staff Three Chinese runners are accused of cheating in the 2019 Boston Marathon.

Three Chinese runners accused of cheating in the 2019 Boston Marathon have been banned from running in any road races in China, according to China’s official new agency.

The Xinhua news agency reported that one of the runners allegedly gave his bib number to other people and the other two allegedly cheated their way into the marathon by forging their personal best result certificates to meet the Boston Marathon’s qualification standard.

They have subsequently been banned for life from competing in China by the Chinese Athletic Association, which serves as the country’s governing body of the sport, according to Xinhua.

On the Chinese Athletic Association webpage, the runners were identified as Wu Zhaofeng, Zhao Baoying and Zhang Jianhua, all of whom of “abnormal results in the 2019 Boston Marathon.” The spelling for the runners was produced by using the Google translating tool on the CAA webpage.

“All the three runners were hit with a life ban from all road running races under the CAA,” Xinhua news agency reported. “The CAA also reiterated that it will continue to crack down all kinds of cheats in marathon in order to build a healthy and clean environment of road running in China.”

According to the Boston Athletic Association website, 620 Chinese citizens entered the 2019 Boston Marathon, and of the 537 who ran in the race, 534 finished.

According to BAA results, a woman with a name similar to the one listed on the CAA webpage finished last week’s race at 5 hours and 50 minutes, far slower than the qualifying time of 3 hours and five minutes the BAA set for people between the ages of 18 to 34.

China has experienced surge in interest in marathon running. In 2011, only 22 marathon races were overseen by the CAA - last year the total had exploded to 1,581 sanctioned races, the government news agency reported.

“Although the number of races has increased rapidly, many Chinese runners still consider running in the World Marathon Major series, especially in the Boston Marathon known for its high-level entry standard, would be something worthy of showing off on social media,’’ the government news agency reported.

Related slideshow: Best photos of the Boston Marathon (Provided by imagn)

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