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Bus ride costs marathon runner his medal

13 October 2011, 12:51

London - A marathon runner was stripped of his third place medal after catching a bus to complete the last 9.6km of the race held in northern England last Sunday.

Organisers of the event said Rob Sloan, 31, withdrew 32km into the race, caught a spectator bus, then completed the final section of the course and crossed the finish line in third place with a personal-best time.

"He's the only runner in the whole of the race who ran the second half of the race quicker than the first half," Kielder Marathon event director Steve Cram, an Olympic medal-winning former runner, told BBC television on Wednesday.

"He either turned into an Olympic athlete over the last [13km] ... or he used some other method to get to the finish line," Cram said.

Sloan had originally dismissed as "laughable" the allegation that he had cheated, but later admitted to skipping part of the circuit in Northumberland when organisers began an investigation into claims he hitched a ride.

"This was rightly questioned by several witnesses including the third place finisher who has been awarded his prize," added the organisers.

- Reuters

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