A marathon runner who was caught taking the bus to claim 3rd place at the Kielder Marathon has been stripped of his medal.
After 20 miles of blood, sweat, and tears Rob Sloan flagged chose to catch a bus for the final six miles of the race.
Sloan then jumped off the bus, hid behind a tree and once other competitors came into view he rejoined the race before crossing the line in 2:51:01 – a time that saw him take 3rd place in the race.
In a post race interview, he told a local TV crew that he’d given it his all.
As more and more runners crossed the line, his plan began to unravel.
The Wrong Bus
The first major floor in his plan was that he unwittingly chose to jump on a bus that has been provided for spectators.
From 3rd to 4th
The next floor in the plan came when the runner who’d been in third place since the gun crossed the line only to be told that he was in fact 4th.
The final nail in the coffin – out of every runner in the race, including the race winner he was the only athlete to run a ‘negative split’, running the second half of the race faster than the first.
Initially, Sloan denied the accusations of cheating, however, facing mounting evidence against him he has now been stripped of his 3rd place medal and has subsequently been told he will have to answer questions from UK Athletics.
When marathon organizers launched an investigation, Sloan quickly changed his tune. He said he had grown tired and admitted to taking the bus, which was made available for spectators watching “Britain’s most beautiful marathon.”
Officials said in a statement, “Rob Sloan of Sunderland Harriers had apparently made the decision to withdraw from the race at approximately 20 miles due to fatigue, and after returning to the Leaplish Park area he decided to run the closing section of the course and crossed the finish line in third place.”