Runner banned for using car during race

A disciplinary panel rejected Joasia Zakrzewski’s claims that she became disoriented after a flight from Australia

British marathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski has been banned for 12 months after it emerged that she had used a car for part of a 50-mile (80-kilometre) race earlier this year, as well as accepting her trophy. UK Athletics confirmed its third-place finish on Wednesday.

The 47-year-old admitted to sporting authorities that she entered a friend’s car during the 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race in April. In a letter to the inquiry, she claimed that she only used the car after informing marshals that she had withdrawn from the event due to injury and that she was participating on a non-competitive basis.

She added that she only accepted the award for third place because she was disoriented after arriving on a flight from Australia the night before.

“I accept my actions on the day I drove the car and subsequently completed the race, crossed the finish line and improperly received a medal and a trophy, which I did not immediately return as I should have done.” Zakrzewski wrote in a letter to the committee.

GPS evidence showed that Zakrozeski, who has competed internationally for British long-distance athletics teams on numerous occasions and set a 48-hour world record in February, had traveled about 2.5 miles in the car – including one mile of the race. Which is covered in just. 1 minute and 40 seconds.

However, in its written decision published on Wednesday, British Athletics said Zakrzewski’s version of events was false. “Contrary to what the guides said.”

Zakrzewski did not disclose the use of the car to officials until she was directly challenged by the race organisers, a UK Athletics ruling said, and that she “She sought to defend herself by claiming she was embarrassed, but in the end she chose not to reveal what happened rather than embarrass herself.”

The disciplinary committee also wrote that it took Zakrzewski’s statement that she was suffering from it “brain fog” In mind but noticed it “She had a significant opportunity to address the situation which she failed to do.”

Originally from Dumfries in Scotland, Zakrzewski now lives in Sydney, Australia and has set a number of records throughout her career, including the Scottish 24-hour record, the British 200km record and the Scottish 100-mile record.

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