Infamous Marathon Cheating Stories That Shocked the Sporting World

Infamous Marathon Cheating Stories That Shocked the Sporting World

...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.

Thousands of runners are set to participate in the prestigious London Marathon today to raise money for various charities.


While most of them are expected to push their bodies to the limit to complete the gruelling 26-mile race, some runners in the past have tried to cheat their way to the finish line, only to be caught and disgraced for their dishonesty.

Here are some of the wildest cheat stories from marathons around the world that will always be remembered.

Rob Sloan, the bus rider Rob Sloan participated in the 2011 Kielder Marathon in Northumberland and finished third.

Rosie Ruiz was caught out by a photographer
Rosie Ruiz was caught out by a photographer

However, allegations emerged that Sloan was seen riding the bus during the race.

Sloan initially denied the claims but later confessed to Olympic legend Steve Cram, who organised the event.

Sloan was subsequently banned by UK Athletics and disappeared from the running scene.

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The couple were accused of cheating
The couple were accused of cheating

Rosie Ruiz, the unflustered finisher Rosie Ruiz became a sensation in 1980 when she posted the third-fastest Marathon time ever for a woman in Boston.

She was awarded the gold medal, but her cheating exploits came to light a week later when it emerged that she had not been spotted in any photographs during the race until she appeared at the finish line completely unflustered.

It is alleged that she intended to join the middle of the pack but miscalculated and ended up at the very front.

Her reputation was left in tatters when it was discovered that she only qualified for Boston due to her performance in the New York Marathon, which also came under scrutiny.

A photographer claimed to have met Ruiz on the subway during the race, and they made their way to the finish line, where Ruiz identified herself as injured but was marked down as a finisher.

Dennis Crowley, the Foursquare founder’s fake bib In 2014, the CEO and founder of tech giant Foursquare, Dennis Crowley, completed the Boston Marathon with his wife Chelsea.

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However, it was discovered that he had worn a fraudulent bib number belonging to another runner.

Crowley insisted that there was no maliciousness involved and that he created the fake bib after his attempt to run together with his wife in 2013 was denied by the bombings in Boston.


Sergio and Fika Motsoeneng, the ultramarathon brothers The Comrades Marathon in South Africa involves completing a 56-mile race, and in 1999, the event had its own scandal after Sergio Motsoeneng finished inside the top 10, collecting a hefty financial prize and a medal in the process.

Photos later emerged of the race that raised suspicions since the runner had seemingly switched his watch to his right wrist.

It later emerged that Motsoeneng had been involved in a relay with his twin brother Fika, with the pair exchanging their bibs, hats, and shoes at toilet checkpoints along the race.

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Monika and Piotr Czarnecka, the married couple caught out During the 2021 London Marathon, Monika Czarnecka and her husband Piotr were photographed wearing the same bib number (11250).

It was later discovered that only Monika was authorised to take part in the event and that her husband had copied the bib number to support her during the race.

Monika later apologised and expressed her regret over the incident.

Jason Scotland-Williams, the faux Farah In 2014, Jason Scotland-Williams made the headlines after running the second part of the London Marathon three minutes faster than Mo Farah.

It was later claimed that he had jumped a barrier at Tower Bridge, missing a ten-mile chunk of the race, but he denied all allegations of cheating.


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