Ultra-marathon runner disqualified after allegedly cheating by using car in race


(LONDON) — A record-setting ultra-marathon runner has been disqualified from her most recent race following allegations that she cheated by using a car for part of it.

Scottish ultra-marathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski placed third in the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race that took place on April 7 in the United Kingdom but has since been disqualified following inconsistent tracking data that was taken during the race, according to officials.

In an interview with the BBC, Wayne Drinkwater — the director of the GB Ultras race – confirmed that Zakrzewski had been disqualified from the race.

“The issue has been investigated and, having reviewed the data from our race tracking system, GPX data, statements provided from our event team, other competitors and from the participant herself, we can confirm that a runner has now been disqualified from the event having taken vehicle transport during part of the route,” Drinkwater said during the BBC interview. “The matter is now with the TRA (Trail Running Association) and, in turn, UK Athletics (UKA) as the regulatory bodies.”

Zakrzewski has not spoken to the media or acknowledged any wrongdoing.

However, Adrian Stott — a friend of the ultra-marathon runner — spoke to the BBC in a separate interview and said that Zakrzewski was “sorry for any upset caused.”

“The race didn’t go to plan. She said she was feeling sick and tired on the race and wanted to drop out,” Stott told the BBC. “She has co-operated fully with the race organisers’ investigations, giving them a full account of what happened. She genuinely feels sorry for any upset caused.”

A statement posted on social media by ultra-marathon race officials on Monday said there had been an “adjustment to race results due to a participant disqualification.”

Mel Sykes was awarded third place in the race following the disqualification after crossing the finish line in a time of 7 hours, 32 minutes and 58 seconds.

“Fantastic performance and achievement Mel,” the statement read. “Apologies for the delay in correcting your rightful position & thank you for your patience and understanding over the last few days.”

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