(Reuters) – A marathon runner was stripped of his third place medal after catching a bus to complete the last six miles of the race held in northern England last Sunday.
Organizers of the event said Rob Sloan, 31, withdrew 20 miles into the race, caught a spectator bus, then completed the final section of the course and crossed the finish line in third place with a personal-best time.
“He’s the only runner in the whole of the race who ran the second half of the race quicker than the first half,” Kielder Marathon event director Steve Cram, an Olympic medal-winning former runner, told BBC television Wednesday.
“He either turned into an Olympic athlete over the last eight miles … or he used some other method to get to the finish line,” Cram said.
Sloan had originally dismissed as “laughable” the allegation that he had cheated, but later admitted to skipping part of the circuit in Northumberland when Organizers began an investigation into claims he hitched a ride.
“This was rightly questioned by several witnesses including the third place finisher who has been awarded his prize,” added the Organizers.