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February 9, 2010

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Marathon official: no cheating detected

THE organizer of last year's Shanghai International Marathon said yesterday that officials had found no cheaters in the competition, despite suspicions of Netizens and even mainstream media that some runners had hired impostors to run for them.

Yang Peigang, deputy director of the organizing committee, said officials would scrutinize the results and details of the event, including tips posted online and media reports, but no cheating had yet been detected.

According to the competition results published online, 64 runners among the top 100 players were from Shandong Province, and that many had the same scores or with a difference of one or two seconds.

Yang explained that Shandong dispatched a strong team with about 150 well-performing athletes for the competition on November 29, so the result was reasonable.

He also said judges were stationed at almost every turning point and had detected no cheating.

However, a Netizen said some runners were also contestants of the 2010 Xiamen International Marathon in Fujian Province last month and had their scores canceled because of cheating.

More than 30 competitors at the Xiamen marathon - all ranked in the top 100 of the men's race at the January 2 event - had their results canceled because of cheating.

In the Xiamen race, some runners were discovered carrying more than one time-keeping microchip so they could register their time for others at the finish line, according to media reports.

Others rode vehicles.

Notably, most of the cheats in the Xiamen race had times less than 2 hours 34 minutes, the minimum needed for high school students to get extra credits for the highly competitive college entrance examinations.

Two of the alleged cheats were from a high school in Shandong Province, where the competition for the exam is considered the toughest.


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