A top British ultramarathon runner has been given a one-year ban after using a car during part of a 50-mile race in which she finished third.
Joasia Zakrzewski, who finished 14th in the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, made headlines in April after admitting traveling 4 miles from the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool event in her friend’s vehicle.
The 47-year-old claimed she suffered a leg injury halfway through and planned to withdraw, but was encouraged to complete the race in a ‘non-competitive’ manner.
When she crossed the line, Zakrzewski accepted a third-place medal and wooden trophy, which she admits was a “huge mistake.”
The Scottish GP denied deliberate cheating, but a British Athletics disciplinary panel rejected her explanation and found her guilty of breaching the code of conduct for senior athletes, handing her a 12-month ban.
Joasia Zakrzewski has been banned for a year after using a car during a 50-mile race
Zakrzewski (left) was disqualified from the 50-mile ultra-marathon from Manchester to Liverpool after accepting a lift from a friend during about 4 miles of the race
Zakrzewski represented Scotland in the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
The panel said Zakrzewski’s statement was “contrary to the marshals’ evidence, evidence that the defendant did not attempt to challenge or challenge, through cross-examination at the hearing.”
They added: ‘Furthermore, the claimant had collected the trophy at the end of the race, something she would not have been allowed to do if she were completing the race on a non-competitive basis.
‘She also didn’t try to return the trophy in the week after the race. Even if she suffered from brain fog on the day of the race, she had a week after the race to realize her actions and return the trophy, which she did not do.
‘She eventually posted about the race on social media, but it did not indicate that she had completed the race on a non-competitive basis.’