The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has issued a powerful warning to potential cheats at this year’s race. CMA General Manager, Chris Fisher says, ‘We will take drastic action against any unsportsmanlike behaviour this year.’
Running clubs across the country have this year raised their concerns and alerted the CMA to be on the lookout for potential transgressors. Some have gone as far as submitting names of potential cheats to be watched.
Chris reminded all runners in this year’s race that additional technologies to highlight irregularities would be utilised to expose cheats. Fishers says officials will be on the lookout for the so-called ‘park & ride’ gang who drive part of the route and run the rest.
He says, ‘If you don’t cross all the timing mats we will want to know why. Transgressions vary from not running the full route distance, running with another entrant’s race number, as well as supplying false information. All of which are considered unethical and unsportsmanlike behaviour by the CMA.’
Chris adds, ‘This year, thanks to tip-offs, we have names which we will watch carefully. Suspicious split times will also be investigated.’If suspected of cheating, KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) will issue those runners with a notice to attend disciplinary hearings.
From there, bans of up to two years can be handed down.Chris believes the above measures to be in the best interest of both runners and the sport of road running. He concludes, ‘The integrity of runners who honourably complete the Comrades Marathon needs to be safeguarded.’