Marathon runner banned after using car to travel part of race

She says that she had to use the vehicle because of an injury

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Published: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 11:35 AM

British ultra-marathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski landed in trouble after she reportedly jumped into a vehicle during the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race 2023. The leading British ultra-marathon athlete ended up earning the third spot in the competition and accepted her trophy as well. The event took place in April.

Now, Zakrzewski has been handed a 12-month ban by a UK Athletics disciplinary panel. As per the statement issued by the UKA disciplinary panel, Zakrzewski confessed that she had travelled in a car to complete the run.

The 47-year-old, in a letter, confirmed, “As stated, I accept my actions on the day that I did travel in a car and then later completed the run, crossing the finish line and inappropriately receiving a medal and trophy, which I did not return immediately as I should have done”

Zakrzewski denied that she “had breached the Code of Conduct for Senior Athletes in that there was ever any intention to cheat or conceal the fact that she had travelled in a car for part of the race.”

The disciplinary panel’s statement also took an excerpt from Zakrzewski’s interview dated June 8, 2023. It stated that Zakrzewski claimed that she had to use the vehicle after informing the marshals about her injury and that she was no longer competing.

As per a Guardian report, Zakrzewski had travelled around 2.5 miles in a car. The GPS data even showed that one of those miles was covered in one minute and 40 seconds.

The UKA disciplinary panel, however, did not accept her defence and in a written decision, it conveyed that Zakrzewski’s claims were “contrary to the evidence of the marshals, evidence which the respondent did not seek to challenge or contest, by way of cross-examination at the hearing”.

Zakrzewski has been barred from coaching, officiating, and managing for a period of 12 months.

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