More than 30 competitors at the Xiamen International Marathon earlier this month have had their results cancelled because of cheating, some having hired imposters to run for them.
All the runners were ranked in the top 100 of the men's race at the January 2 event in the southeastern port city, according to Thursday's Jiefang Daily newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Shanghai Communist Party.
Organisers found video footage revealed that some runners had carried the time-recording microchips of others so that one runner would register two or more results on passing the finish line, the report said. Others made their way around at least some of the course in vehicles, while some hired imposters, it added.
The motivation for the cheating was not necessarily just for prestige, the report suggested, noting that most of the cheats had times under two hours 34 minutes.
That is the minimum standard required for high-school students to get extra credits for China's highly competitive college entrance examinations.