Organisers of the Beijing Marathon are investigating claims of sexual harassment, after a runner reportedly mistimed a high five in the latter stages of the marathon. According to Chinese news reports, the runner has apologised for missing the supporter’s hand, resulting in him “unintentionally [touching] her on the belly”.
In a letter published on online site NetEase News, the runner wrote: “I apologise to her even though I didn’t mean to touch her on the belly area. I was trying to give her a high five to boost my spirits as I was near the end and very tired.”
Footage of the incident was posted online, leading the marathon’s organising committee to open an investigation. The footage has sparked a great debate between readers, some of whom believe the runner to be reaching for the girl’s breasts and calling for him to be banned from future races.
The runner himself has gone on to argue that after running for more than 37 kilometres, he didn’t have the energy to think about sexually harassing someone. The organisers have confirmed they will continue to look into this and that it is the first sexual harrassment claim ever associated with the race.
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