Beijing Half Marathon results nullified for He Jie and three African athletes

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19th April 2024 – (Beijing) The Beijing Half Marathon has been recently overshadowed by a scandal involving alleged race fixing which led to the annulment of the results for four competitors, including the Chinese national marathon record holder, He Jie.

The controversy ignited when He Jie was declared the winner of the men’s race under contentious circumstances. Video footage from the final segment of the race surfaced online, showing three African runners — Willy Mnangat and Robert Keter from Kenya, and Dejene Hailu from Ethiopia — apparently slowing down, with Mnangat seen gesturing in a manner that suggested letting He Jie pass. This incident has raised questions about the integrity of the competition and the fairness of the race outcomes.

In the wake of the uproar, the organising committee of the Beijing Half Marathon conducted a thorough investigation into the events of the race day. The findings led to severe repercussions for the involved parties. The committee stripped He Jie and the three African athletes of their race results, and also demanded the return of their trophies, medals, and prize money. Additionally, these results were reported to the Chinese Athletic Association for further action.

The scandal deepened with the involvement of Xtep International Holdings Limited, the race’s sponsor and partner, which was found to have recommended 28 athletes to participate under its banner without clearly marking them as pacesetters. This oversight has cast a shadow over Xtep’s involvement and raised suspicions of potential interference in the race outcomes.

In response to these findings, the Beijing Half Marathon’s organising committee took decisive steps to address and rectify the integrity of the event. They terminated the operational rights of the Beijing Half Marathon held by China Olympic Road Running Co., Ltd., mandating a public apology and stringent action against responsible personnel. Similarly, Xtep International Holdings Limited was stripped of its status as a partner for the event, with a directive to also issue a public apology and face serious consequences.

Furthermore, the Beijing Sports Competition Management and International Exchange Center, also involved in the event’s organization, received official censure. The body has been instructed to conduct a profound review and take strict action against those involved in the oversight.