China Half Marathon Probe Turns Spotlight on African Athletes

China Half Marathon Probe Turns Spotlight on African Athletes
Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images Some Chinese social media users have criticised He's win as "embarrassing" (file photo)

China Half Marathon Probe Turns Spotlight on African Athletes

The organizers of the Beijing Half Marathon have launched an inquiry into allegations of race-fixing involving Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes following viral footage on social media. The video captured Ethiopian athlete Dejene Hailu and Kenyan runners Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat seemingly slowing down as they approached the finish line, allowing Chinese athlete He Jie to overtake them and clinch victory in Sunday’s half marathon.

He, the reigning gold medalist from the 2023 Asian Games marathon, was visibly congratulated by the African trio after securing the win by a mere second. However, the race’s outcome has sparked criticism among some Chinese social media users, who have labeled He’s victory as “embarrassing” and questioned its sportsmanship amidst suspicions of race manipulation.

In response to the controversy, a representative from the Beijing Sports Bureau told the AFP news agency on Monday that they are actively investigating the matter and pledged to disclose their findings to the public once they have concluded. Additionally, the marathon’s organizing committee has confirmed that it will initiate an investigation into the allegations, as reported by AFP.

Neither He, Hailu, Keter, nor Mnangat have publicly addressed the ongoing investigations or commented on the allegations. The developments surrounding the race-fixing accusations have drawn significant attention, shedding light on the importance of integrity and fair competition in sports. The outcome of the investigation holds implications not only for the athletes involved but also for the reputation and credibility of the Beijing Half Marathon and the broader athletic community.

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