Beijing Half Marathon: Top Three African Athletes Stripped of Medals After Investigation

Following an inquiry into the contentious outcome, the Beijing half marathon has nullified the medals of its top three finishers.

‘Allegations surfaced suggesting that three African athletes strategically aided China’s prominent runner, He Jie, in clinching victory in Sunday’s race.

Footage emerged purportedly showing Kenya’s Robert Keter, Willy Mnangat, and Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu intentionally slowing down and gesturing for He to pass them at the finish line.

Mnangat explained to the BBC that they acted as pacemakers during the race.

However, the race’s organizing committee, leading the investigation, declared that none of the trio were officially designated as pacemakers for He, thus violating competition regulations.

Consequently, the committee announced the retrieval of all trophies, medals, and bonuses.

State broadcaster CCTV in China further reported punitive measures against all four athletes, with their results invalidated.

In response, the Chinese Athletics Association expressed its intent to enhance the management of road running events in the nation following the incident.

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“In general, the overall operation of road running events has been smooth,” it said in a statement.

“But problems in the organization and management of the events have also been exposed, which has aroused widespread concern.”

He clinched the marathon gold at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, proudly holding the record for the full marathon in his homeland of China.