Cape Town - The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has issued a
powerful warning to potential cheats at this year’s Comrades Marathon. The 91st
edition of the iconic race will be hosted on Sunday, May 29, 2016.
CMA General Manager, Chris Fisher has issued a
cautionary notice to such runners. He says the issue has been brought to the
CMA’s attention through allegations raised by a growing number of concerned
Fisher says, ‘We had no option but to raise our
concerns with KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) who have agreed to partner with us
in putting a stop to this unsportsmanlike conduct.’ Fisher has welcomed the
joint initiative with KZNA. The two organisations will collaborate and make use
of additional technologies to highlight irregularities.
Fisher says that race officials, marshals, volunteers
and nearly twenty thousand runners will all be encouraged to be on the lookout
to expose any cheats this year.
He says, “We understand that this is a tough
and demanding race that requires a lot of training and hard work. It is for
this reason that the integrity of those runners who honourably complete the
Comrades Marathon needs to be safeguarded.’ KZNA will also be deploying
additional officials to the route.
against cheating runners stem from complaints from other athletes with some
running clubs going as far as to supply the CMA with individuals’ names.
Runners are requested to be on the lookout for those athletes who transgress
transgressions vary from not running the full route distance, running with
another entrant’s race number, supplying false information eg: qualification
race details as part of their entry or displaying other forms of unethical and
To this end,
Fisher says that officials will also be on the lookout for the so-called ‘park
and ride gang’ who drive part of the route and run the rest. “If you don’t
cross all of the mats, we will want to know why.”
concludes, “This year, thanks to the tip-offs, we have some names which we will
watch carefully. If we catch them and they are found guilty, we will name and
shame them.” Furthermore, technical officials will once again be looking out
for suspicious split times in uncovering cheating runners.
CMA and KZNA reserve the right to request that the South African Institute for
Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) implement blood tests as opposed to urine tests, where
believes the above measures to be in the best interest of both runners and the
sport of ultra-marathon running.