(CBS/AP) - If you're going to run the first 20 miles of a marathon, shouldn't you be able to finish that last 6.2? British runner Rob Sloan apparently didn't feel that way. The runner turned in a third place finish in the UK's Kielder Marathon with an impressive time of 2:51:00. He also took a bus to the finish line.
After crossing the finish line, Sloan called the race an "unbelievably tough" marathon. But it didn't take long for event organizers of the Newcastle race to notice that Sloan had walked off the course at the 20 mile mark. The runner hopped on a spectator shuttle bus, rode the last 6.2 miles of the race, and emerged from the woods near the finish line to make the podium.
Sloan initially called the accusation "laughable" but admitted his transgression after a brief investigation by the organizers.
"People in cars following the bus saw him get on and off. People saw him run through the bushes - we had him hook, line and sinker," Dave Roberts, one of the marathon organizers, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Steven Cairns, who moved from fourth to third following Sloan's disqualification, accused his rival of "stealing my glory."
"I was third the whole way but somehow I crossed the line and was given fourth!" Cairns said on his Facebook page. "I started to doubt myself as he was adamant he had gone past me. I could understand him taking the goody bag and the T-shirt but to do the press interview claiming he was third..."
Sloan will go before a district committee this month and faces the possibility of being banned from marathons.
"We are pleased this matter has been cleared up," said event director Steve Cram, a former world record holder and world champion in the 1,500 meters. "Mr. Sloan made a mistake and has apologized to us for the confusion it has caused."