Thousands of runners from the Mexico City Marathon have reportedly been disqualified following accusations of taking shortcuts.
The Mexico City Sports Institute announced last week that it was opening an investigation into reports of cheating following numerous accusations online. Spanish publication Marca reported Wednesday that tracking data showed that roughly 11,000 participants missed checkpoints and did not complete the full 26.2-mile race course. Checkpoints are placed every 5 kilometers.
According to Marca, some runners were accused of taking vehicles and public transportation to skip ahead. The MCSI did not confirm the use of vehicles but acknowledged in its investigation announcement that it was looking into instances of "an unsportsmanlike attitude" that would result in disqualification.
"The Mexico City Sports Institute informs that it will proceed to identify those cases in which participants of the XL Mexico City Marathon Telcel 2023 have demonstrated an unsportsmanlike attitude during the event and will invalidate their registration times," the Aug. 30 statement reads.
Race organizers have since disputed the tally of 11,000 disqualified runners to the Washington Post. One of those organizers, Kevin Cárdenas, told the Post that “more or less” than 3,000 runners have been disqualified and that the final count is not yet official. Per the Post, records show that roughly 30,000 runners entered the race while listing race times for just 21,000 runners. Officials declined to answer questions about the discrepancy, the Post reports.
This is not the Mexico City Marathon's first run-in with a high-profile cheating scandal. In 2017, nearly 6,000 runners were disqualified for cutting the course. More than 3,000 were disqualified a year later.