Runner Rob Sloan was stripped of his third-place marathon medal when it was discovered that he got an “unfare” advantage.
Sloan, 31, had completed 20 miles of the Salomon Kielder Marathon before boarding a tourist bus. He then rode the vehicle for five miles.
A while later, witnesses reported seeing him hide behind a tree until the first and second placed runners went past, then rejoining the race behind them and claiming the bronze medal.
Suspicions arose when fourth-place runner, Steven Cairns, 43, said he hadn’t seen Sloan pass him during the race, according to the BBC. At first Sloan dismissed Cairns’ claims as “laughable,” but he stopped laughing when race organizers began to investigate.
The 31-year-old now faces dismissal from his club, Sunderland Harriers, and could be banned from taking part in future marathons.
A statement from the organisers said: “The athlete who was disqualified on Sunday after initially placing third has admitted that he failed to complete the whole course of 26.2 miles.
“Rob Sloan of Sunderland Harriers had apparently made the decision to withdraw from the race at approximately 20 miles due to fatigue and after returning to the Leaplish Park area he decided to run the closing section of the course and crossed the finish line in third place.
This was rightly questioned by several witnesses including the rightful third place finisher, Steven Cairns of Peebles, Scotland, who has been awarded the prize.”