Cheating in sport for victory or podium places is disgraceful. But it is understandable: cash rewards, rankings, fame and possible sponsorships are overpowering lures for some.
But dishonesty to place deep on a list of 11 000 finishers? It is incomprehensible.
It turns out that five Comrades Marathon entrants, who supposedly finished well down in the field, have admitted deceit and returned their medals. Thirty-one more are to face hearings.
Comrades has had scandals where rascals have falsely claimed gold medals. But they have been fairly isolated up until now, and have failed to sully the ethos of the great race.
There has always been an aura of honesty about the event, a spirit of endeavour upheld by the many thousands who have successfully completed their own, life-changing journeys.