A British runner was stripped of his third-place marathon medal when it was discovered that he got an “unfare” advantage from a tourist bus.
Rob Sloan, 31, a former army mechanic ran 20 miles of Salomon Kielder Marathon’s 26.2 miles in Northumberland, England, before hopping on a tourist bus. He rode the bus for 5 miles before reportedly getting off and hiding in a wooded area before emerging from the trees to run the last stretch of the race.
Sloan’s time was reported as 2 hours and 51 minutes, 21 minutes better than his previous marathon record.
Suspicions arose when fourth-place runner, Steven Cairns, 43, said he hadn’t seen Sloan pass him during the race, according to the BBC. At first Sloan dismissed Cairns’ claims as “laughable,” but he stopped laughing when race organizers began to investigate.
“It’s as bad as drug-taking in my book,” said Dave Roberts, one of the marathon’s organizers, according to the Associated Press.
Marathon director Steve Cram told the BBC that Sloan ultimately admitted to his mistake and apologized for the confusion he’d caused.
Cairns, a police officer, was awarded the third-place medal after Sloan’s disqualification.