Cheated marathon runner gets medal
Published 19/10/2011 | 15:17
A runner cheated out of a bronze medal by a rival who jumped on the bus to finish a marathon has finally been awarded his prize.
Steven Cairns, from Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders, was shocked when he was told he had finished fourth in the Salomon Kielder Marathon in Northumberland on October 9.
The bronze medal went to Rob Sloan, 31, who at first claimed that training had made him a "much better runner", shaving 21 minutes off his previous time.
However, according to organisers of the event - whose director is athletics legend Steve Cram - Mr Sloan later came clean by admitting he ran out of energy after 20 miles, hopped on a spectator bus then completed the final section of the course. He came in third with a time of 2.25.01.
Mr Sloan was forced to hand back his medal, telling organisers he had "made a mistake". His running club Sunderland Harriers said Mr Sloan has now been expelled, saying evidence suggested his performance was "impossible".
In a statement, the club said: "Despite admitting his wrongdoing to the Kielder Marathon organisers and the Sunderland Harriers club chairman Kevin Carr, Sloan then denied admitting his guilt to all concerned.
"His constant denials to cheating have further blighted the situation and brought shame and embarrassment to Sunderland Harriers.
"We apologise again to the Kielder Marathon organisers and especially to third-placed runner Steve Cairns, whose moment of acclaim was denied through Sloan's actions."
Former Olympic runner Cram met Mr Cairns, 43, on an open-top bus in Edinburgh to present him with the bronze prize.
Mr Cairns, a constable with Lothian and Borders Police, explained: "I was running along towards the end of the race pretty much on my own. I was thinking I had a couple of miles to go and I was happy that I was going to be third to get the podium place. Then I crossed the line and was told I was fourth. It was complete confusion."