Bikes, shortcuts, bibs for cash: China marathon cheats run rampant

first_imgGretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila card Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? But race organizers are struggling to keep up with a growing number of attempts — some laughably audacious — to break the rules.The Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) issued lifetime bans to three runners who cheated at the prestigious Boston Marathon in April.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsREAD: China bans Boston Marathon trio in latest cheating scandalTwo of them presented forged certificates to fraudulently reach the strict entry standard while the third gave his bib to someone else to run for him. The IAAF declined to comment despite repeated requests.‘Cheating a national sport’Paco Borao, president of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, said Chinese runners were not the only ones seeking to gain an unfair advantage.“It is true that some nationalities — from the Mediterranean area, Africa, South America, China — are areas where cheating seems to be a national sport and people enjoy testing organizations,” he said.“China is part of such a group but not a special concern.”Some marathons in China, including an upcoming event in the northeastern city of Dalian, are using facial recognition to root out rule-breakers.The Great Wall Marathon, which takes place on May 18 at China’s most famous landmark, is confident it can do without the technology, but is on heightened alert.“Cheating hasn’t been a big problem at the Great Wall Marathon so far,” said race and event director Lars Fyhr, putting the number of past attempts at “probably a handful”.He declined to give details because “I don’t want people to get ‘good ideas’”.“We have timing checkpoints on the route so we can see if a runner didn’t pass all those,” said Fyhr. Traffic cameras caught participants darting from one side of the road to the other.‘Lack of marathon culture’The Beijing government is encouraging long-distance running as part of a broader fitness campaign.In 2011 there were just 22 marathons, half-marathons or other running events in China, but that rocketed to about 1,500 last year, according to the CAA.Chinese media says “marathon fever”, especially among the middle class, means that some events are disorganized or unregulated — and vulnerable to cheating.The CAA, which in December issued regulations aimed at cleaning up the sport, declined to tell AFP how many Chinese runners have broken the rules.But Yu Hongchen, a CAA vice-president, told the China Daily: “Chinese marathon development has encountered many difficulties, the first of which is the lack of a marathon culture and awareness of the rules.”That “lack of a culture” means some people — eager to show off to friends or prospective bosses — are woefully underprepared for the grueling demands of a marathon.The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body, endorsed January’s Xiamen Marathon as one of its “Gold Label” road races.But that did not prevent at least five people cheating, one of whom sported a mocked-up bib. Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast (FILES) This file photo taken on April 15, 2018 shows participants crossing the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge as they compete in the Wuhan Marathon in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province. – Dozens have taken shortcuts while one hopped on a bike — cheating by Chinese marathon runners has become so rampant that there are warnings it is harming the country’s reputation. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUTDozens have taken shortcuts while one hopped on a bike — cheating by Chinese marathon runners has become so rampant that there are warnings it is harming the country’s reputation.Running has taken off in China with competitors wearing the latest trendy gear and boasting of their achievements on social media or on job applications to boost their employment prospects.ADVERTISEMENT Their behavior “had a negative impact on China in the (international) community”, the CAA said in a statement.An official with the CAA’s marathon department who spoke on condition of anonymity told AFP the association was investigating cases of cheating at other marathons in China.A Chinese sports travel agency charged runners 50,000 yuan ($7,500) to register them for Boston, including allegedly arranging bogus certificates proving they had achieved fast enough times in other races to qualify, China National Radio reported.Some cheats have not been so subtle.In March a woman was filmed riding a green rental bike in the Xuzhou International Marathon in eastern China and at November’s half-marathon in Shenzhen more than 250 runners cheated, including many who took shortcuts.ADVERTISEMENT The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books Jimmy Butler delivers as 76ers end long skid in Toronto, tie playoff series LATEST STORIES “We also have video recording at these time checkpoints so in disputes we can look at the video to see if someone passed or not.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte says he will appoint Gamboa as next PNP chief LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption PLAY LIST 02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu MOST READ Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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WalMart no wallflower

first_img • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates three Walmart-brand stores in Vancouver.• Battle Ground: Construction is expected this year on a 154,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter on the northwest corner of Scotton Way and state Highway 503 (Southwest 10th Avenue).• Vancouver: No construction dates set for a Supercenter store at Eastgate Plaza, south of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard between 137th and 147th avenues. However, Wal-Mart has accepted construction bids for preparing the site of its proposed Salmon Creek-area Supercenter near Washington State University Vancouver.• Vancouver: Wal-Mart announced in 2012 plans for its first Neighborhood Market to open this summer in Vancouver. The grocery store and pharmacy will occupy a 43,000-square-foot portion of a former 90,000-square-foot WinCo Foods store in the Vancouver Plaza shopping center between Fourth Plain Boulevard and state Highway 500.o Vancouver: Plans to redevelop the vacant Fred Meyer site at Fourth Plain and Grand boulevards could also be for a Neighborhood Market, although no company name is listed on a proposal submitted to the city to build a new 42,000-square-foot grocery store. Two clues point to Wal-Mart: The listed applicant is PacLand, which commonly develops Walmart stores, and the proposed store’s size also matches the 42,000- to 43,000-square-foot market-store concept.• Portland: The site has been cleared for one of the smallest local Walmart Supercenters, an 85,900-square-foot store at the Hayden Meadows shopping complex east of Interstate 5. Click to enlargelast_img read more