Chinese Orienteering Team Disqualified from Military Games

By: Andrew Sanchez

The Guardian

Cheating is something that has plagued sports throughout history. The Chinese Team hosted the Military Games, in which they cheated. Orienteering is a difficult cross country sport. Runners are only equipped with a compass and map, and race to various locations. Runners also have to have very high endurance, to travel long distances on foot. The winner of the event is the one with the lowest elapsed time. Clues are provided to the participants, making the challenges possible. The participants are usually put in unfamiliar terrains, that are difficult to traverse. This was not the case for Team China, as the military games were being hosted in their home country, which helped them cheat.

Team China cheated multiple ways throughout the race, which later led them to being disqualified. Before the race, they made secret paths and put down markings, that made it much faster and easier to move around. Spectators also told the participants unfair information that helped them navigate quicker and get to the finish line earlier. The Russian, Polish, French, Swiss, Austrian, and Belgian teams noticed and reported the Chinese team’s cheating.

Chinese runners in the middle-distance competition on Sunday initially came first, second, and fourth among the women and second among the men, but after seeing that the Chinese cheated, a jury ruled that they should be disqualified. The Chinese team filed an appeal, but it was denied. The entire Chinese orienteering team was also banned from future races.

In every sport, a clear opportunity for participants to cheat rises, and that was shown in the Military Games. During the orienteering race, Chinese runners cheated using the help of spectators, illegal markings, and secret paths. After placing highly, the Chinese runners were disqualified and later banned from future races. Hopefully this shows people the consequences of cheating.