An ultra-marathon cheat has been banned from the sport for 12 months for using a car during a race.
Scottish runner Joasia Zakrzewski, 47, had finished third in the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race on April 7 this year before it transpired she had travelled 2.5 miles in a friend’s car. Mapping data found she covered a mile in one minute and 40 seconds, reaching a speed of 35mph in the process.
Zakrzewski had told marshals she had picked up an injury and was no longer competing. However, she still accepted her third place trophy, later claiming she did so because she was not thinking straight having travelled to the UK from Australia the day before.
READ MORE: Marathon 'cheat' who got lift in car was 'spaced out and made mistake' accepting trophy
READ MORE: Marathon 'cheat' caught using car during race when she 'ran mile in under two minutes'
Zakrzewski was subsequently disqualified with the third place going to Mel Sykes instead. An independent panel which investigated the incident has now ruled that she will be ineligible to compete in any licensed races and barred from representing Great Britain for a year.
The panel said: "The claimant had collected the trophy at the end of the race, something which she should have not done if she was completing the race on a non-competitive basis.
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"She also did not seek to return the trophy in the week following the race. Even if she was suffering from brain fog on the day of the race, she had a week following the race to realise her actions and return the trophy, which she did not do.
"Finally, she posted about the race on social media, and this did not disclose that she had completed the race on a non-competitive basis."
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Zakrezewski finished 14th in the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon in Scotland and has set records in the UK over 100 and 200 miles. Adrian Stott, a friend of the runner, said at the time that Zakrezewski was “genuinely sorry” and felt unwell before and during the race.
“The race didn’t go to plan. She said she was feeling sick and tired on the race and wanted to drop out,” said Stott. “She has co-operated fully with the race organisers’ investigations, giving them a full account of what happened. She genuinely feels sorry for any upset caused.”
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