Beijing Half Marathon: Winners Disqualified

On April 19, 2024, the organising committee of the 2024 Beijing Half Marathon stated that the top four finishers were stripped of their medals after it was revealed that the three African runners deliberately slowed down near the finish line to make way for China’s He Jie.

Ethiopian Dejene Hailu Bikila and Kenyans Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat are said to have been pacemakers. However, their sponsor, Xtep, failed to note the three runners as pacemakers. They were registered as participating athletes instead. Xtep accepted the ban imposed on it from sponsoring races this season and maintained that a mistake was made during the registration process by staff, which did not identify the pacers.

Apart from the withdrawal of their trophies, medals and bonuses, the athletes will be reported to the Chinese Athletics Association. Further, the committee said that the race operator would be disqualified from hosting and operating the Beijing half marathon.