British ultra-marathon star banned after jumping into a car mid-race

British ultra-marathon star is banned for a year after she jumped into a car mid-race to skip 2.5 miles of a race (and she still only finished third!)

  • Joasia Zakrzewski admitted travelling in her friend’s car for 2.5 miles of the route
  • Zakrzewski said accepting a medal and third placed trophy was a ‘massive error’
  • UK Athletics rejected her explanation and handed her a 12-month suspension 

A top British ultra-marathon runner has received a one-year ban after using a car for 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 she admitted travelling in her friend’s vehicle for 2.5 miles of the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool event.

The 47-year-old claimed she had suffered a leg injury around the halfway mark and had intended to pull out, only to be encouraged to finish the race in a ‘non-competitive’ way.

When she crossed the line, Zakrzewski then accepted a medal and a third-place wooden trophy, which she concedes was a ‘massive error’.

The Scottish GP denied deliberately cheating but a UK Athletics disciplinary panel rejected her explanation and found her guilty of breaching their code of conduct for senior athletes, handing her a 12-month suspension.

Joasia Zakrzewski has received a one-year ban after using a car for part of a 50-mile race

Zakrzewski, (left) was disqualified from the 50-mile Manchester to Liverpool ultra-marathon after accepting a lift from a friend for around 2.5 miles of the race

Zakrzewski represented Scotland in the marathon at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

The panel said Zakrzewski’s submission was ‘contrary to the evidence of the marshals, evidence which the respondent did not seek to challenge or contest, by way of cross-examination at the hearing’.

They added: ‘Further, 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.’

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