Comrades Marathon Association investigates ‘cheating’ allegations

Published Jun 20, 2024


The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has confirmed that an investigation into allegations of cheating is under way.

The organisation said this comes after the CMA office received a number of tip-offs from concerned participants and spectators who reported several instances of suspected cheating within the duration of the race.

They added that as signalled by the CMA in the build-up to the 2024 Comrades Marathon held on June 9, the CMA adopted a zero-tolerance approach towards cheating at this year’s event. The CMA has continued to receive information from athletes and clubs regarding the submission of fraudulent qualifying information, it said in a statement.

CMA Race & Operations manager Ann Ashworth stated that while she is aware of various social media posts allegedly exposing several athletes of cheating at the event, the CMA has yet to communicate the full and final results of its investigations to KZN Athletics and has not yet publicly identified those athletes whom it suspects of cheating.

“We are currently working through the full set of electronic results provided to us by FinishTime with a view to identifying any anomalies or inconsistencies within the results. Our office is also working through data which suggests that several athletes missed the non-disclosed (or secret) timing points along the route, the purpose of which was to identify runners who engaged in course cutting. All inconsistencies will then be compared to any photographic evidence available,” she said.

Ashworth also indicated that the CMA is aware of a problem which occurred at the first timing point (approximately 5km) and assured athletes that the absence of a timing reading at this particular point is not necessarily indicative of course cutting.

Ashworth said: “The CMA hopes to conclude its investigations over the next few days, after which the names of all race day cheats will be provided to KwaZulu-Natal Athletics for disciplinary action.”

The Mercury