Tyne & Wear

Kielder run organisers: Rob Sloan 'admitted cheating'

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMarathon runner hands back medal after he hopped on a bus

A runner who was disqualified from a marathon after being accused of cheating admitted he had made a mistake, event organisers have said.

Sunderland Harrier Rob Sloan came third during Sunday's Kielder Marathon but was stripped of the title over a claim he travelled part of the way by bus.

He told the BBC he was angry over the accusation and that he did not cheat.

But event organiser Northumbrian Water said Mr Sloan had admitted failing to complete the course and had apologised.

Mr Sloan is accused of hopping on a bus with spectators about five miles short of the end of the race in Northumberland, then jumping off to run across the finishing line.

Steven Cairns of Peebles, Scotland, was later awarded the third prize after Mr Sloan was disqualified.

A statement from Northumbrian Water said: "Rob Sloan had apparently made the decision to withdraw from the race at approximately 20 miles due to fatigue.

'Made a mistake'

"After returning to the Leaplish Park area he decided to run the closing section of the course and crossed the finish line in third place.

Image caption Sloan (highlighted, wearing a blue vest) was winner of the previous day's 10km race

"This was rightly questioned by several witnesses including the rightful third place finisher Steven Cairns of Peebles, Scotland who has been awarded his prize."

Former Olympic athlete and event director, Steve Cram, said: "Mr Sloan made a mistake and has apologised to us for the confusion it has caused."

On Saturday, the day before the marathon Mr Sloan, took part in a 10km run at Kielder which he won.

After being disqualified, Mr Sloan told the BBC: "I'm upset and angry that someone wants to cast these aspersions.

"It's laughable is what it is, where they've come from I don't know."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites