Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cheating in Marathon Running for College Entry

Wide spread cheating incidents in various state exams are not news in China. For example, hundreds were caught cheating just a year ago. However, it does become news-worthy when such behavior spread out of the traditional academic domain and into the supposedly innocent world of amateur sporting events.

This week, the organizers of the Xiamen Marathon event has to disqualify almost a third of its top 100 finishers. Some elite runners were found to carry multiple timing chips in order to obtain results for others who did not participate in the race. Other kinds of cheating were also reported.

The main motivation for such a wide-spreading cheating occurrence appeared to be gaining an advantage for college entrance. In China, a high school graduate can receive extra-credit in college admission consideration if he or she can demonstrate elite-level athletic ability, e.g., finishing a marathon within 2 hours and 34 minutes.

Not surprisingly, the disqualified runners, actual or non-existent, all had their finishing time within that threshold.

1 comment:

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