The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has announced that 25 entrants have been disqualified from the 2023 edition of the race.
The esteemed South African event features a number of entry restrictions and requires competitors to have run at least one qualifying race between a set qualifying period.
The CMA has revealed that the 25 athletes were found to have supplied false qualifying information.
“Disrespecting fellow athletes”
“Runners found to have been cheating in any way, be it via submitting false qualifying details or in the race itself are tarnishing the reputation of the sport and the Comrades Marathon Association, as well as disrespecting fellow athletes,” CMA Race Director, Rowyn James said.
“The CMA will not tolerate cheating in any form.
“It is incumbent upon every athlete to honour the ethical code and ethos of the sport.
“We promote fair sport and to this end are continuing with investigations into other alleged transgressors, the outcome of which will be announced in due course.”
In a statement posted on social media, the CMA named several of the clubs of which the banned runners were members of and stated that “these transgressors will not be permitted to participate in the 2023 Comrades Marathon.”
It added that it has notified the respective athletes and their running clubs’ management of the disqualifications.
The qualifying criteria for the 2023 race states that entrants must have run at least one qualifying race between 25 September 2022 and 2 May 2023.
All qualifying races must be Athletics South Africa (ASA) technically compliant and meet the Comrades Marathon qualifying criteria.
The rules also state that runners’ provincially approved club name and 2023 licence number must be submitted along with a completed medical questionnaire.
Below is the table detailing the minimum distance and time requirements for entrants:
The CMA’s announcement came with less than a week until the start of the 2023 Comrades Marathon, which begins 0530 (local time) in Pietermaritzburg this Sunday.