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16th Nov 2023

Ultra-marathon runner banned for using car in 50-mile race

Joseph Loftus

‘She had a week to realise her actions and return the trophy, which she did not do’

An ultra-marathon runner from Scotland has been banned for twelve months after admitting she used a car to complete part of a race earlier this year.

Joasia Zakrzewski, 47, was found to have cheated during the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race in April after her GPS picked up suspicious results.

Joasia Zakrzewski, who finished third in the race, denied deliberately cheating but said that she did accept a lift from a friend because she was injured and had told marshals she was no longer competing.

The GP, from Dumfries, who has respresented Great Britain in the past, said she made a “massive error” when she accepted the third place trophy after crossing the finish line.

Zakrzewski said that she felt “unwell and spaced out”.

Her GPS picked up that she covered 2.5 miles of the race in a car before continuing on foot across the finish line.

A disciplinary panel formed by UK Athletics has now ruled that Zakrzewski’s claims were “contrary to the evidence of the marshals” and she has been banned from representing GB for the next year.

The panel said: “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.

“She also did not seek to return the trophy in the week following the race. Even if she was suffering from brain fog on the day of the race, she had a week following the race to realise her actions and return the trophy, which she did not do.

“Finally, she posted about the race on social media, and this did not disclose that she had completed the race on a non-competitive basis.”

It is worth noting that Zakrzewski did not admit using a car until organisers became suspicious by her GPS data.

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