Scottish Ultramarathon Runner Disqualified After Cheating During 2023 GB Ultras
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The 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race, which is just over 80 kilometers, saw a major shake-up after it was discovered that Scottish ultramarathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski was using a car on part of the course. Despite finishing third, she was found to have driven the car around 4 kilometers, resulting in her disqualification.
Unsporting Advantage During the Event
Wayne Drinkwater, the director of the GB Ultras race, announced that he had received information about a runner who gained an "unsporting, competitive advantage during a section of the event".
After investigating the matter, the race organizers reviewed the data from the race tracking system and GPX data, along with statements from the event team, other competitors, and the participant herself, leading to the disqualification of Joasia Zakrzewski.
The matter is now with the TRA and UK Athletics (UKA) as the regulatory bodies.
Disappointing Turn of Events
The Scottish Athletics chairman, David Ovens, expressed his disappointment upon hearing the news, considering that Joasia had had such a successful period over the last few years.
Despite the unfortunate event, Ovens expressed hope that Joasia will be able to put this behind her and continue her successful career, adding that she has been a great ambassador for British sport and has inspired many women to run and achieve their goals.
The Scottish athlete reportedly arrived from Australia the night before the race after traveling for 48 hours and fell ill during the race, leading her to want to drop out. Joasia has cooperated fully with the race organizers, providing them with a full account of what happened, and has expressed regret for her actions.
David Ovens said: "It is very disappointing to hear this, given Joasia's had such a successful period over the last few years. I hope she can put this behind her and that there is an innocent explanation and she can resume her successful career.
The race didn't go to plan. She said she was feeling sick and tired on the race and wanted to drop out," he said. "She has cooperated fully with the race organisers' investigations, giving them a full account of what happened.
She genuinely feels sorry for any upset caused." The disqualification of Joasia Zakrzewski has brought to light the importance of fair play in sports, and the consequences that come with breaking the rules. The 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race will now see Mel Skyes in third place, while Joasia's future remains uncertain as the matter is now with the regulatory bodies.