CITY GUIDE >Highlights
Legal concerns over runners' health-risk disclaimer
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-16 09:34

The health risk disclaimer Beijing Marathon competitors must sign taking responsibility for any accident caused by previous health issues may not stand up in a Chinese court, it was revealed yesterday.

Legal affairs expert Qiu Baochang said the agreement may not be protected by Chinese law even though it detailed potential problems, such as age, high-blood pressure and previous heart troubles.

"The drug dealer cannot avoid their responsibilities just because they told the drug buyer that it's dangerous to take a drug," said Qiu, who is consumer protection department director at the Beijing Bar Association and director of Beijing Huijia Law Firm.

He strongly urged the event organizer set up a strict health check system before the event on Sunday.

"The organizer should be responsible for all runners," he said.

The marathon's disclaimer said the event organizer covers the runner's insurance.

The runners, who compete in the full marathon, must pay between 90 and 409 yuan ($13-60) and insurance policy is part of this fee.

However, when METRO asked for more information yesterday, the Beijing Marathon committee declined to reveal any details of the insurance compensation.

In 2004, two people died during the Beijing Marathon.

Liu Hongbin, a 20-year-old student from Beijing Jiaotong University who registered for the half marathon, dropped dead at the 17 km point in the race.

Liu had signed a registration form, which included a disclaimer saying: "Runners will take all responsibility once there is any accident due to their health condition during the even, and no relatives or executor could sue the event organizer."

Liu had a previous back problem with lumbar herniated disc symptoms, which ruled him unfit for strenuous exercise like the half marathon.

However, the top student was an enthusiastic runner and still entered the race.

After the fatal accident, Liu's family sued the Beijing Jiaotong University for 200,000 yuan because they believed the university was responsible for his welfare. The university eventually paid 50,000 yuan.

The Beijing Marathon organizer visited Liu's family but did not mention any compensation, according to

Hu Shouli, 64, was the other man who died during the race and heart problems were believed to be the cause.

His younger brother wrote a letter to the event organizer, and claimed the tragedy was due to his brother's over-confidence.

"He forgot he was a 64-year-old man," the brother said.