China is to impose lifetime bans on Marathon cheats, in a move to crack down on the increasing number of scandals in the fast-growing sport which attracts millions of participants from home and abroad.
New regulations issued by China's Athletics Association (CAA) on Monday said people who run the race under fake names or cheat in some other way like fabricating their number plates or taking two PIN chips in the race will face severe punishments.
First-time offenders will be banned for life from the race in which they were participating and those who cheat in a second race will receive a lifetime ban from participating in all Marathon races across the country.
On December 10th last year, two Chinese runners died after they collapsed at Xiamen International Half-Marathon. An investigation then discovered that one of the deceased runners was not the qualified runner, but was actually racing on behalf of someone else. Ultimately, 30 runners were punished for cheating in the race.
Last year, it was reported that places in the Beijing marathon were being offered for sale online with prices ranging from 200 to 1000 yuan because of limits on the number of people who could run the race, with official participation determined by way of a lottery system.
The recent scandals raised concerns among Chinese marathon runners and many said that marathons in China needed to be better regulated.
Du Zhaocai, the CAA vice president, hoped the new rules will ring the bell for all marathon organizers and participants.
“The committees should take substitution as severe problem and we call on all runners to bear the spirit of sportsmanship and run with honesty,” he said.
CAA also added that over 130 cities in China held 328 marathons last year, and 2.8 million runners participated in the races. The number of races is expected to reach 500 in 2017.