This Mohammad only cheated in the marathon, didn’t blow up

by 1389 on April 27, 2013

in 1389 (blog admin), Canada, sports

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Published on Apr 26, 2013 by SDAMatt2a

Two runners who posted top times have been stripped of their Vancouver Sun Run results and banned from competing in future after they were found to have cheated in this year’s 10-kilometre event.

“It’s very disheartening and discouraging to think that an event like this — that is really about participation, community and just getting out and challenging yourself — can be marred by people who cheat and think it’s OK to do that,” said Jamie Pitblado, vice-president of promotions and community investment for The Province and The Sun.

Pitblado said two people reported Vancouver’s Neena Cheema to run organizers, and one reported Richmond’s Mohammed Razak. Cheema had placed first in the women’s 50 to 54 age category with a time of 41:44, while Razak placed first in the men’s 55 to 59 category with a time of 36:35.

The whistleblowers believe Cheema and Razak may have taken shortcuts to skip sections of the race. After examining video evidence and run-time calculations, Pitblado notified both runners that they would be stripped of their medals and barred from the event for life. He noted neither one argued with the findings.

Susan Gordon was one of two people who reported the incidents to organizers. By reviewing race videos and online athletic records, Gordon, 53, appears to have nabbed a racer who has repeatedly won her division in the Sun Run, allegedly by cheating.

“I hope justice will be done. There is 47,999 other people out there who are running an honest race,” she told The Province.

Gordon — who generally places top-three in the B.C. races she enters — says she always checks out her competition after races. So when she saw a woman named Neena Cheema had won her age group this year, she researched Cheema’s prior results. Cheema had first won in her age group in 2007 at the Sun Run, but didn’t have results in other races in B.C., which seemed odd, Gordon said. On top of that, she added that Cheema’s Sun Run win in 2007 appeared to be about 22 minutes faster than Cheema’s first recorded Sun Run in 2006, according to online records.

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