Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / China

Beijing Half Marathon winner disqualified

By CUI JIA | | Updated: 2024-04-19 16:57
Share - WeChat

The organizing committee of the Beijing Half Marathon announced on Friday that it has disqualified the results of Chinese runner He Jie who won gold and three African runners who were contracted to run as pacers for He to help him achieve a better result.

The committee launched an investigation after an online uproar was caused by videos that show the three African runners appearing to slow down near the finish line to allow He to win by a second with a time of 1:03:44 during Sunday's 21-kilometer race.

Video clips showed Kenya's Willy Mnangat, Robert Keter, Dejene Hailu of Ethiopia and home star runner He approaching the finish line. Mnangat looked at He and seemingly beckoned his Chinese opponent to go ahead of him and the two other runners close to the finish line.

According to the rules, besides runners who register by themselves, other athletes and pacers can also be invited to participate in the race, but pacers cannot compete as athletes with special invitation, the organizer said in a statement.

Introduced by Chinese sportswear company Xtep - a sponsor and partner of the event, China Olympic Road Race Sports Management Co Ltd - the event's organizer sent special invites to 28 athletes to take part in the race including He and four foreign athletes who were He's pacers. But Xtep failed to clarify that the four foreign athletes are in fact He's pacers, so the organizer didn't inform the organizing committee and allowed them to run with bibs indicating that they are athletes with special invitation, according to the statement.

During the race, one of the pacers quitted about four kilometers into the race. The other three pacers then kept the lead. They started to slow down at about two kilometers to the finishing line allowing He to win, it added.

The organizing committee then decided to disqualify He and the three African pacers who accompanied him to the end and take away their medals and rewards.

Also, China Olympic Road Race Sports Management Co Ltd will no longer serve as the organizer of the Beijing Half Marathon while Xtep has been removed from the event's list of partners, it said.

The committee also apologized to the public saying that it failed to spot and correct related issues during this year's Beijing Half Marathon, and that it has learnt a lesson.

Xtep also issued a statement on Friday saying the company made the mistake of failing to mark the four African racers as He's pacers during the registration process. And it holds great responsibility for making people criticizing the result and questioning the integrity of sportsmanship and issued an apology to all the runners.

Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349