Sense examines allegations that one of its runners cheated in the London Marathon

The deafblind charity says that if Jason Scotland-Williams did cheat it would be a disservice to deafblind people and its other runners; he denies doing so

Jason Scotland-Williams
Jason Scotland-Williams

The deafblind charity Sense is looking into allegations that one of its runners cheated during this year’s London Marathon.

The charity confirmed that it had been made aware that the official times for Jason Scotland-Williams, who was among the 500 or so runners raising money for Sense in this year’s event, showed that he completed the first half of the 26.2-mile (42km) race in two hours and seven minutes but ran the second half in less than one hour, two minutes.

The times, which are available on the London Marathon website, give estimated figures for when Scotland-Williams passed the 25km, 30km and 35km marks, which means that either the timing chip he was carrying to monitor his progress had malfunctioned or that he did not pass these timing checks.

If the times were correct, it would mean that Scotland-Williams completed the second half of the course in a time faster than that of Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, who this year broke the London Marathon course record in a time of two hours, four minutes and 29 seconds.

The world record for a half marathon is 58 minutes, 23 seconds, set by Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese in Lisbon four years ago. The British record of 60 minutes and 10 seconds was set by Mo Farah when he was just beaten into second place by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele in last year's Bupa Great North Run.

On a forum thread on the website of Runner’s World magazine – it has now been removed – it was claimed that Scotland-Williams jumped a barrier in a section of the course where it doubles back on itself, meaning he was able to miss a significant chunk of the route.

Sense asks its charity runners to raise a minimum of £1,500 in return for a place in the event. A Sense spokesman was unable to confirm how much Scotland-Williams was expected to have raised for the charity or what would happen to any funds donated in his name if it was found that he had cheated.

Gill Morbey, chief executive of Sense, said she was disappointed at the news. "We are saddened that a runner who was supporting Sense has come to our attention for alleged cheating," she said. "Thousands of people have run for Sense and this is the first time this has ever happened. It does a disservice to our charity, deafblind people and our brilliant marathon runners."

The London Marathon website shows that Scotland-Williams completed last year’s event in a time of seven hours, 24 minutes and nine seconds.

He told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that he had done nothing wrong and said it was his sixth London Marathon. "I’m a personal trainer," he said. "I trained every day, seven days a week, for the past seven years.

"Nobody thinks maybe I just trained hard. No one thinks ‘maybe he paced himself through the first half and, when the second half came, he just let himself go’."

He said there were stewards and people watching all along the route. "There’s no way you can cheat," he said.

Andy Ricketts

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