A Scottish runner who used a car for part of an ultra-marathon to finish in third place has been banned for a year over the incident.
Joasia Zakrzewski, from Dumfries, used the vehicle to complete around 2.5 miles of the 50-mile Manchester to Liverpool race in April.
She was caught after a tracker found she covered over a mile of the course in less than two minutes.
The 47-year-old, who holds several long-distance records, has now been banned from competing for 12 months by a UK Athletics disciplinary panel.
Zakrzewski admitted that she had jumped into her friend’s vehicle but claimed she only did so after telling marshals that she was injured and was no longer competing.
But on her arrival at the finish line she accepted a bronze medal and took a place on the podium, which she blamed on “not being able to think straight” but never made any attempt to hand the trophy back in the following week.
She admitted afterwards that she “made a massive error”.
As well as being stripped of the third place finish, she will now be unable to compete in any UKA licensed races, representing Great Britain, or coaching or managing for a year, after she was found guilty of breaching the UKA code of conduct for senior athletes.
In a written decision the disciplinary panel said: “The claimant had collected the trophy at the end of the race, something which she should have not done if she was completing the race on a non-competitive basis,” they said.
“She also did not seek to return the trophy in the week following the race.”
The ultrarunner, who represented Team Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, set a world record across 255 miles in a 48-hour race in Taiwan.
Three years ago she won a 147 mile event in Australia and holds the Scottish records in the 24 hour and 100 mile events.
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