11,000 cheaters? Mexico City marathon runners rode bikes, took public transport

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News September 7, 2023

About 11,000 of the more than 30,000 competitors in the XL Mexico City Marathon Telcel 2023 cheated on their way to the finish line, with some riding bikes and even taking public transportation for parts of the 26.2 mile race, Spanish media outlet Marca reported on Monday.

About a third of the participants in this year’s Mexico City Marathon were disqualified for cheating. / Video Image

The organizers of the country’s most popular marathon confirmed that thousands of runners have been disqualified.

“The Mexico City Sports Institute informs that it will proceed to identify those cases in which participants of the XL Mexico City Marathon Telcel 2023 have demonstrated an unsportsmanlike attitude during the event and will invalidate their registration times,” organizers said.

The cheaters in the Aug. 27 marathon were caught by a timing detection system installed in the course which detects runners as they pass certain points in the race, meaning anyone who misses a checkpoint would raise suspicions.

Marca reported that some of the runners blamed faulty technology for failing to ping them at checkpoints, but World Athletics has backed the organizers in their disqualifying of the runners.

“It is always disappointing to hear that people choose to cheat in our sport, such as the cheating that occurred in the mass race at the Mexico City Marathon on 27 August,” the governing body told Sky News.

“However, many race organizers use mass timing detection systems in today’s races and their effectiveness can be seen with the race organizers of this event who had the proper checkpoints in place, and have taken appropriate action by swiftly disqualifying all athletes who chose to cheat.”

The Mexico City Marathon, which holds World Athletics Gold Label Status that is given to events upholding the strictest standards for organization and delivery, has been dogged by disqualification before, with 6,000 denied medals in 2017 and another 3,090 the following year – all for cheating.

This year’s men’s elite race was won by Bolivia’s Hector Garibay in a time of 2:08:23. Celestine Chepchirchir of Kenya triumphed in the women’s race in 2:27:17.

All finishers at the Mexico Marathon receive a medal, which this year included Mexico City’s Latin American Tower on its design.

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