Comrades to tackle cheating

2016-02-11 06:00

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THE Comrades Marathon Association has issued a warning to potential cheats that it will vigorously pursue and expose them if they are caught cheating in the 91st edition of the race on Sunday, 29 May.

CMA general manager Chris Fisher says allegations of cheating have been raised by a growing numbers of concerned runners. “We had no option but to raise our concerns with KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA), who have agreed to partner with us in putting a stop to this unsportsmanlike conduct,” he said in a statement.

The two organisations will make use of additional technologies to highlight irregularities. Fisher said race officials, marshals, volunteers and nearly 20 000 runners will be encouraged to be on the look out to expose any cheats this year. The KZNA will also deploy additional officials to the route.

“We understand that this is a tough and demanding race that requires a lot of training and hard work. It is for this reason that the integrity of those runners who honourably complete the Comrades Marathon needs to be safeguarded,” Fisher said.

Allegations of cheating have been put forward by runners, who in some cases have even provided the names of the individuals to the CMA.

Transgressions include not running the full race distance, using another runner’s number and supplying false information. Fisher said officials will be on the lookout for the so-called “park and ride gang”, who drive part of the route: “If you don’t cross all of the mats, we will want to know why.”

Technical officials will also be checking for suspicious split times.

“This year, thanks to the tip-offs, we have some names which we will watch carefully,” he added.

“If we catch them and they are found guilty, we will name and shame them.”

The CMA and KZNA further stated that have the right to request that the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport implement blood tests rather than urine tests, where deemed necessary­.

- Sports Reporter.

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