Ultramarathon runner handed 12-month ban for using car

Scottish ultramarathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski has been banned for 12 months by a UK Athletics disciplinary panel after she used a car for part of a 50-mile race.

Zakrzewski finished third at the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race in April, but data from the race tracking system showed she used a car for around 2.5 miles of the competition. Her data indicated she completed a mile in 1 minute, 40 seconds -- 2½ minutes faster than the current women's world record.

Zakrzewski said she used the car after telling race marshals she was injured and not racing anymore, before going on to accept a medal and wooden trophy for third place.

However in statements after the race, marshals disputed Zakrzewski's claim she told them she wasn't racing anymore.

The panel said Zakrzewski only told officials what had happened after being prompted by the race organiser, and didn't seek to return the award in the week following the race. She also posted about the race on social media without saying she competed non-competitively.

"It wasn't malicious. It was miscommunication. I would never purposefully cheat and this was not a target race, but I don't want to make excuses," Zakrzewski told the BBC at the time.

Zakrzewski won't be able to compete in any races organised by UK Athletic for a year.