The fallout from the race received significant attention on Chinese social media, with many Weibo users praising Friday’s announcement.

“This is the attitude our society should have towards cheating,” wrote Hu Xijin, a commentator on the platform.

“The reputations of individuals who seek profit from fakery have been damaged, while the relevant institutions have been even more discredited. They have reaped what they sowed,” he said.

Sports blogger Sun Yuxuan wrote: “This was supposed to be… a chance for some good publicity, but things had to end up this way, and now the negative impact will linger for a long time.”

Long-distance and marathon running has boomed in recent years among China’s middle class, but there have been numerous cases of cheating and poor organisation.

At a half marathon in the southern city of Shenzhen in 2018, 258 runners were found to have cheated, including many who took shortcuts.

Traffic cameras caught them darting through trees to join a different part of the race.

In 2019, a woman was filmed riding a green rental bike in the Xuzhou International Marathon in eastern China.

She was ordered by race officials to dismount the bike, only to get back on again afterwards.


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