By sportswriter Wang Haoming SHENZHEN,
China (Xinhua) -- A total of 258
runners were penalized for cheating in a recent Shenzhen Half
Marathon, event organizers said on Thursday.
Organizers found 18
runners with fake bib numbers, three imposters, and 237 other
cheaters, of whom a great number had taken shortcuts during last
Runners with fake
bib numbers and those who hired imposters are facing a lifetime
ban from the event, and the other 237 runners will be banned for
two years, according to an announcement by the organizing
A video shot by a
traffic camera at one section of the course shows some runners
crossing from one side of the road to another.
runners were supposed to continue running for at least one
kilometer before making a u-turn at the end of the road, meaning
that runners who took shortcuts would have run two or three
kilometers less than the full 21 kilometer distance.
Another picture shot
by a local photographer shows two runners with identical bib
“We deeply regret
the violations that occurred during the event. Marathon running
is not simply exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every
runner is responsible for him or herself,” said the
The news quickly
sparked a heated discussion among Chinese media and netizens.
An editorial by
People’s Daily read, “Please respect the Marathon, and respect
One user on China’s
Twitter-like Weibo platform lamented, “There are too many
marathons in China nowadays, and too many so-called runners, but
runners who really love running are still in short supply.”
According to the
latest data from the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA), 1,072
marathons and road races have been held in China this year, up
from just 22 in 2011.