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IOF Claims Extensive Cheating by China at World Military Games

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Photo: CISM

By Daniel Etchells |

The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) has announced that host China’s teams were disqualified from the men’s and women’s middle-distance events at the World Military Games in Wuhan, due to claims of “extensive cheating.”

Chinese runners finished in first, second and fourth place among the women, and second place among the men, on Sunday (October 20).

But according to the IOF, it was proven that the runners had received illegal assistance from spectators in the terrain, and had markings and small paths prepared for them.

A common protest was handed in by the national teams of Russia, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Poland and Austria, and the jury decided to disqualify all competitors in the Chinese team.

According to the jury decision, their results were to be voided and not included in the results lists, and they would not be allowed to start in yesterday’s long-distance competition.

The Chinese appealed the decision to International Military Sports Council (CISM), but the protest and jury decision were upheld.

However, the results are not yet official.

It was initially announced by the World Military Games Organising Committee that the long-distance competition would be cancelled in its entirety, but following negotiations with CISM, it was reinstated in the program without the participation of the Chinese team.

They will also not start in the final relay competitions tomorrow.

“The Military World Games is an event organized under the jurisdiction of the International Military Sports Council but through a Memorandum of Understanding with IOF, the IOF rules govern the conduct of the event,” IOF secretary general Tom Hollowell said.

“The IOF takes the actions of the Chinese team very seriously and is pleased to see that the IOF rules regarding the fairness of competition were enforced by the jury and CISM, and that the best solution was found for those athletes who compete within the regulations of the sport.

“The IOF will be investigating together with CISM how sanctions may be applied to those involved in the improper activities.

“Although the event is not an IOF event, the IOF is investigating if any further actions need to be taken to guarantee the fairness of competition at the upcoming World Cup Final in Guangzhou, China, from October 25 to 29. 

“Military and civilian orienteering in China are completely separated organizationally and the World Cup has been controlled within the structure of the IOF, with restrictions on the access to competition information. 

“There is also time to make changes to stop similar types of cheating. 

“However, the IOF will be debriefing the CISM controllers and making further investigations into the nature of the infractions. 

“If verifiable evidence of any improprieties are found, the IOF will apply any sanctions necessary to guarantee the fairness of the competitions at the World Cup.

“The IOF Council will be meeting in connection with the World Cup final and will, as part of the agenda, discuss how the negative activities at the Military World Games may affect the IOF’s support to developing Chinese orienteering and also the Memorandum of Understanding with CISM.

“Finally, the IOF wishes to show its appreciation to the clean athletes and congratulate the medal winners of the long distance at the Military World Games 2019.”

Action continued today at the World Military Games, with Bahrain topping the medal standings after the first eight track and field golds were awarded.

Among the country’s trio of winners were Abbas Abbas and Salwa Naser, in the men’s and women’s 400 metres events, respectively.

Abbas clocked a time of 45.84sec, while world champion Naser crossed the line in 50.15.

There was also success for Asian Games gold medallist Winfred Yavi in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in 9 min 19.24sec.

The first gold medals in golf were also awarded today, with Brazil’s Miriam Nagl clinching the women’s individual title with a level-par score of 288.

Nagl also contributed to Brazil’s triumph in the women’s team event, along with Clara Teixeira and Laura Caetano, on a three-under-par score of 141.

Elsewhere today, there were sailing victories for Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol in the women’s 470 class race and China’s Xu Yani and Xu Zangjun in the mixed 470 class race.

In the women’s volleyball final, Brazil beat China 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19.

One sport concluding was judo, with China defeating France 3-0 in the women’s final and Russia overcoming Brazil by the same scoreline in the men’s gold medal match.

In swimming, China upped their gold medal tally to 22 thanks to three more wins.

They came courtesy of Ji Xinjie in the men’s 400m freestyle in 3:48.33, Yu Jingyao in the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2:23.36 and the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team in 7:57.06.

Russia also claimed three swimming gold medals today, moving onto a total of seven.

World bronze medallist Vladislav Grinev won the men’s 100m freestyle in 47.86, while there was also a podium-topping performance from two-time world champion Anton Chupkov in the men’s 200m breaststroke in 2:07.95.

Chupkov and Grinev later joined the winning Russian team in the men’s 4x100m medley relay in 3:33.57.

Action in Wuhan continues this week, with competition scheduled to finish on Sunday (October 27).

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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