Beijing Half Marathon Controversy: Organizers Launch Inquiry

Beijing Half Marathon Controversy: Organizers Launch Inquiry

Beijing Half Marathon Controversy: Organizers Launch Inquiry

Organizers of the Beijing half marathon are investigating allegations that three African athletes intentionally allowed China’s prominent runner, He Jie, to win Sunday’s race.

Video footage showed Kenya’s Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat, along with Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu, gesturing towards the finish line and slowing down before gesturing for He Jie to pass them. Ultimately, He crossed the finish line one second ahead of the trio, who tied for second place.

The outcome has sparked criticism from some Chinese social media users, prompting the Beijing Sports Bureau to investigate the incident. A spokesperson said they would disclose the findings to the public once the investigation concludes.

Xstep, a Chinese sports brand sponsoring the event and with a contractual agreement with He Jie, stated that they are still verifying the situation with multiple parties and will provide further updates when available.

He Jie, aged 25, previously clinched marathon gold at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou and holds the national record for the marathon event. However, none of the involved athletes have commented on the matter thus far.

In response to inquiries, World Athletics informed BBC Sport that they are aware of the circulating footage and are conscious of the ongoing investigation conducted by local authorities. They emphasized the importance of upholding the sport’s integrity and refrained from making additional comments until the investigation concluded.

On Chinese social media platform Weibo, users have expressed their views on the race. One comment, characterizing the situation as “the most embarrassing title of He Jie’s career,” garnered significant attention. Another post lamented the incident, lamenting the tarnishing of sportsmanship in a prestigious event organized by a reputable entity.


Hey, I'm Emily Logan, a sports writer with a passion for extreme sports. From snowboarding to rock climbing, my adventurous spirit and firsthand experiences in the field bring an adrenaline-fueled perspective to my articles that resonate with thrill-seekers.