The Chinese orienteering team has been disqualified from the World Military Games being held in Wuhan, China after they were caught cheating. As per reports, the orienteering teams of China had already secured the first, second and fourth place for women’s teams and the second place for men’s team in the middle distance segment when their cheating was caught.
Major embarrassment for #China. China’s orienteering team has been disqualified from #military world games. Why? Because the Chinese team was caught cheating. Wait, it gets worse! China is hosting the event. Take a look with @palkisu pic.twitter.com/tsbtJ39PWF
— WION (@WIONews) October 25, 2019
China is the host for the CISM World Military Games this time. The 7th World Military Games are being held in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province. Over 10,000 military athletes from over 109 nations are participating in the event from 18th to 27th October.
Orienteering is a competition where teams are required to use a map and a compass to complete a course over a certain distance. After the winners were announced for the men’s and women’s sections, it was discovered that the Chinese teams had taken the help of local spectators to place small markings and had small paths prepared on the terrain that only they were aware of. The Chinese teams were even able to run the course well ahead of time.
Rivals including Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Austria and France had protested after the event. This led to an International Orienteering Federation investigation. When the cheating was discovered, a jury announced the winnings of the Chinese teams as void. An appeal by the Chinese teams was rejected by the organisers of the event.
The jury has also gone ahead to disqualify all the Chinese runners in the event and will not allow them to compete in the long-distance and final relay events.
The World Military Games were started in 1995 and take place every four years. China is hosting them for the first time. Though the event is organised by the International Military Sports Council, the rules are governed by the International Orienteering Federation.
The IOF has taken the cheating incident seriously. “Although the event is not an IOF event, the IOF is investigating if any further actions need to be taken to guarantee the fairness of competition at the upcoming World Cup final in Guangzhou, China October 25-29,” it has stated.
The World Military Games at Wuhan were inaugurated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in an elaborate ceremony and there has been wide coverage in the Chinese media. However, the cheating and disqualification of the orienteering team have brought massive embarrassment for the country’s military and sporting authorities.