When Sion Daniels was seen celebrating crossing the finish line of the Cardiff Half Marathon, suspicions grew as he was seen far behind the front runners at the halfway point in the race.
Completing the course in an alleged time of 1:07:58, Daniels would have placed among the top 30 in a stacked field with thousands of participants.
The concern brought up to the race organizers led to an investigation of Daniels race. Based on analysis of Daniels’ position at different points in the race, it was impossible for him have crossed the line in 67 minutes.
Race organizers added that in order for him to have completed the course at his alleged time, Daniels would of had to run the final 11k at world record pace. Considering his past race performances, this was not possible for Daniels.
Race officials commented, “Having been at nine miles at around 55 minutes, it looks likely that the participant cut out the two-mile loop of Roath Park Lake in the latter stages of the race. The runner has been contacted and given opportunity to respond and refute the claims, but will likely be barred from R4W events and served a ban.” – via BBC
Race officials concluded that Daniels’ had removed his chip during the race and cut out the two mile loop that took runners around Roath Park Lake near the end of the race.
Daniels’ actions were not received well from his competitors and race staff. Michael Drake, a member of CDF runners said, “It’s beyond disappointing to see this kind of behaviour at a race, and creates a sour note for everyone involved with Sion Daniels acting in such a dishonest and premeditated manner to falsely claim results that other runners work so hard to achieve.” – via BBC
Following the race, Daniels’ emailed the race organizers in confusion. His result was not found on the website following the race. Along with his email he included a GPX file that matched his alleged 67-minute time.
However, the file turned out to be one from the 2022 route, which was slightly different than the 2023 route.
With the evidence before them, race organizers confrimed that a competitor in the Cardiff Half Marathon had cheated.
“The runner submitted a GPX file from their running watch as evidence, but analysis has shown that the file is from a previous edition of the race – which followed a slightly different route.” – via BBC
“The runner, who was featured in an S4C television interview, alleged they had completed the race in 1:07:58 but did not appear in the official results because of a timing chip error.” – via BBC
As a result of his cheating, Daniels’ will banned from future participation in any Run4Wales events. This is unless he contacts organizers with proof that the result is, in fact, his own.
The governing body of athletics in Wales, Welsh Athletics, has been made aware of the events that transpired at the Cardiff Half Marathon and will now commence a review with Run4Wales race roganizers.
“Welsh Athletics will now work with the event organizers Run4Wales and commence a review in line with Welsh Athletics Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” – via BBC
Sion Daniels has yet to reply to race organizers or press for comment.