Over 250 participants of a recent China marathon are set to be penalized after being caught cheating in a variety of ways.
According to the organizers of the Shenzhen Half Marathon, a total of 258 competitors were caught taking short-cuts, using fake bibs, and running on behalf of other competitors during the event on Sunday.
The rampant cheating, condemned by Chinese state media as “deeply shameful,” was easily proven by footage captured by traffic cameras and local photographers, Xinhua reports.
258 runners accused of cheating during last Sunday’s Shenzhen Half Marathon pic.twitter.com/ku16FCnb4Q
— Xinhua Sports (@XHSports) November 29, 2018
In one clip, a number of runners are seen emerging from a thick bush after skipping a large section of the track. Footage from a traffic camera shows some competitors taking an early U-turn, skipping at least 10% off the 21-kilometer (13-mile) race.
“We deeply regret the violations that occurred during the event. Marathon running is not simply an exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every runner is responsible for him or herself,” organizers of the annual event said in a statement.
At least 21 of the cheaters composed of those who wore fake bib numbers and hired impostors are facing a lifetime ban from the event; the other 237 runners will be banned for two years.
Featured image via YouTube/ Video Break