A prominent British ultra-marathon runner has been handed a 12-month ban by a UK Athletics disciplinary panel for using a car during a 50-mile race and subsequently accepting a third-place trophy, reported The Guardian.
Joasia Zakrzewski admitted entering her friend’s vehicle during the 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race on April 7 but claimed that she did so only after informing marshals of an injury that prevented her from continuing the competition.
Data from the tracking system at the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool showed that Zakrzewski, who represented Scotland in the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, used a car for a 4km stretch of the race, Reuters reported.
The 47-year-old, known for her 14th-place finish in the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon and a world 48-hour distance record of 255.668 miles set in February, maintained that she did not intentionally cheat. Instead, she attributed her actions to jet lag from arriving in Australia the night before, leading to impaired judgment and the inadvertent acceptance of a trophy at the race’s conclusion.
However, the explanation was rejected by a UKA disciplinary panel which has now banned Ms Zakrzewski from competing in any UKA licensed races, representing Great Britain, or coaching or managing for a year, after finding her guilty of breaching the UKA code of conduct for senior athletes, The Guardian reported.
The Independent Disciplinary Panel of UK Athletics disagreed with her in their verdict.
“The claimant had collected the trophy at the end of the race, something which she should have not done if she was completing the race on a non-competitive basis,” they said.
“She also did not seek to return the trophy in the week following the race.”
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