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11,000 runners disqualified from Mexico City Marathon for cheating

More than a third of entrants at the 2023 Mexico City Marathon were disqualified

Mexico City Marathon

The 2023 Mexico City Marathon, which took place on Sunday, Aug. 27, has been overshadowed by another widespread cheating scandal, resulting in the disqualification of approximately 11,000 runners for failing to complete the required distance on the designated course. There were 30,000 runners in the race, so that means more than a third of all runners have been disqualified.

According to race officials, these disqualifications resulted from tracking data, which revealed that a significant number of runners did not cross mandatory checkpoints positioned every 5 km on the route. These checkpoints are intended to ensure that competitors cover the full course and do not resort to shortcuts in their quest to earn a finisher’s medal or time.

Mexico City Marathon
Photo: W/C

An investigation was initiated following numerous complaints from other competitors who observed athletes using vehicles, bicycles and public transportation to cut sections of the course.

Race organizers issued an official statement to Marca: “The Mexico City Sports Institute informs that it will proceed to identify those cases in which participants of the XL Mexico City Marathon Telcel 2023 displayed unsportsmanlike conduct during the event, and their registration times will be invalidated.”

The statement went on to highlight the broader significance of this historic marathon: “This prestigious event not only stands as a remarkable celebration for all the residents of the capital city but also serves as an occasion to reaffirm the transcendental values of sportsmanship.”

Mexico City Marathon
Previous finisher medals from the Mexico City Marathon between 2013-2017.

The marathon holds a gold accreditation from World Athletics and is one of the most popular races in Latin America, attracting nearly 40,000 participants annually. Unfortunately, this is not the first instance of mass cheating in the race’s history. In 2018, the marathon disqualified more than 13,000 runners who had cheated in an attempt to secure last-minute qualification for the 2019 Boston Marathon.

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The race draws thousands of registrants, as it serves as one of the final North American Boston Marathon qualifiers within the qualification window for the following year. The Mexico City Marathon traditionally follows the same route as the 1968 Olympic marathon.