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Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's not cheating????????

A second winner has been disqualified from the Sundown Marathon. This time it is the winner of the 10km category, a 14 year old boy who won in the time of 39 mins +. He was disqualified after a tip off that he had actually ran using another person; his girlfriend's 50 years old father's bib. After the news broke, his parents in an interview with the New Paper defended his actions and claimed that it was not cheating. Quote: "It's not like he registered in the veteran's category and won, that is cheating. But (for his case), I don't see why it’s considered cheating." unquoted.

Fair enough, he won fair and square. His timing was superior to the other runners; he did not consume any drugs or took shortcut so he did not "cheat" but he broke the rules.

1. Race bibs are non-transferable. 
2. Minimum age is 18 years at 28 May 2011.

That is clear enough. Maybe not to a 14 years old boy but certainly a 50 years old man or the boy's parents should understand that. 

What is so disturbing about the whole farce is how the parents are justifying the actions. Being runners themselves, the parents should know better. Fine, everybody swap bib but these people do not win so it doesn't really matter although it is still against the rule. In fact, there were another 2 runners who came in faster than the boy but they were gracious enough to inform the organiser that they were running using some other  person's bib and disqualify themselves accordingly. Unfortunately the boy did no such things and his parents who also took part in the Sundown Marathon did not advise him to own up. Subsequently, in the press interview, they defended his actions claiming he did not have an "unfair advantage". They further justified the actions by claiming that other events allow 14 years to participate. 

What a load of bullshit. If all parents adopt this stance, then they might as well pay somebody to take their children's school exam for them. And if other events allow certain people to take part, does it means that they can insist on the same for all other events and if not, to flout the rules as they deem fit? I shudder to think what type of value they are inculcating to their kid with this type of attitude.

The other thing about this whole farce is it need not have happen if the organiser had been more careful in their screening of the winners. Surely, a quick verification of the runner's particulars before they award the prize is not too difficult or troublesome? Or are they so naive to believe that bib swapping is not happening here? How could a 14 year old pass off for a 50 years old without anybody noticing the discrepancy? 

If this has been a SAA sanctioned event, the boy would have been slapped with a ban and his whole running career would have been prematurely terminated. Fortunately for him, all he got was a whole lot of publicity for which he seems to be enjoying the infamy and an offer from the SAA to train with them. I think he should take up the offer, get a coach who can bring out his potential and also keep him on the right track. 

And one last word, what the hell is a 14 years old boy doing having a girlfriend at this age? Again, I wonder what sort of parents he has....


  1. I don't blame the boy for what he did: imposing as another person and using the person's identity, as well as claiming the 1st prize during prize presentation... He was just a 14yo athlete... However, I was appalled at his parent's insistence that what he did was not wrong!!! I was also appalled that the boy showed no remorse of what he did!!! Even if he has great ability, I do not want someone who doesn't admit his mistake to represent Singapore!!!

  2. 39 minutes aint even that good, arrogance killz

  3. The boy is still young and need guidance. Let's hope if get a good coach who can do so. Certainly I don't see it coming from his parents