Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
14 COMRADES RUNNERS DISQUALIFIED
Fourteen alleged cheats have been disqualified for not running the full distance at the 2012 and 2013 Comrades Marathons.
Revealing the findings of a disciplinary hearing, KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) said on Tuesday that all 14 amateur runners had been removed from the results.
A total of 20 people, including five international participants, were charged with offences related to rule 240.1 – not completing the full official course – though six of the alleged transgressors had provided ample evidence that they did not cheat.
Rather than taking them off the course, the bailers’ bus had dropped them on the course inside the fenced area which forced them to walk across the finish line.
“They had refused to take the medals at the finish and notified officials,” KZNA confirmed in a statement.
“Their names were, however, never removed from the results and this created the suspicion of cheating.”
A number of individuals immediately pleaded guilty and avoided the hearing, while others reportedly did not respond at all and did not make themselves available.
One of the 14 runners found guilty had appeared in both 2012 and 2013 disciplinary hearings on the same offence.
“They were ordered to return the medals, and those who fail to do so by the end of April 2015 will not be allowed to run this year’s event (on May 31),” KZNA said.
Meanwhile, the provincial body confirmed it had upheld its decision not to give Zola Budd first place in the veteran women’s race at the 2014 edition of the prestigious 89km race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
The 48-year-old Budd, a two-time world cross country champion and two other runners, including five-time former winner Alan Robb, had been denied category prizes for not wearing age tags.
“This matter has now been closed and all parties recognise that the ASA age category rule remains in force and neither KZNA nor the CMA has authority to repeal, change or relax it in anyway without the express permission of ASA.”
While the national federation’s rules clearly stated age category tags needed to be worn to be eligible for category prizes, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules were more vague, which apparently allowed organisers to accept ages on numbers without runners wearing separate tags.
Budd’s manager, Ray de Vries, said they would continue to follow available avenues to have the former 5 000m world record holder, who finished seventh at last year’s Comrades, reinstated as the winner of the 40-50 age group.