Bronze medal finally handed to the right man after Sunderland marathon cheat saga

Former Olympic runner Steve Cram (right) awards Steven Cairns the bronze medal for the Salomon Kielder Marathon.
Former Olympic runner Steve Cram (right) awards Steven Cairns the bronze medal for the Salomon Kielder Marathon.
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A RUNNER cheated out of a bronze medal by a rival who jumped on the bus has finally been awarded his prize.

Steven Cairns was shocked to be told he had finished fourth in the Salomon Kielder Marathon.

Dated: 11/10/11'On The Run !!!Kelder Marathon Cheat pictured today' 'WIN OR BUSSED....  Rob Sloan from Sunderland Harriers  has admitted  boarding a free bus used by spectators at the 20 mile mark before climbing off just one mile from the finish and putting in his sprint finish.'Pictured today Tuesday 11th Oct out running the streets of his home town of Washington..'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES'' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

Dated: 11/10/11'On The Run !!!Kelder Marathon Cheat pictured today' 'WIN OR BUSSED.... Rob Sloan from Sunderland Harriers has admitted boarding a free bus used by spectators at the 20 mile mark before climbing off just one mile from the finish and putting in his sprint finish.'Pictured today Tuesday 11th Oct out running the streets of his home town of Washington..'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES'' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

The bronze medal went to Rob Sloan, 31, from Downhill, Sunderland, who at first claimed training had made him a “much better runner”, shaving 21 minutes off his previous time.

However, organisers of the event – whose director is athletics legend Steve Cram – said Sloan later came clean by admitting he ran out of energy after 20 miles, hopped on a spectator bus then completed the final section of the course.

Sloan – this week booted out of Sunderland Harriers – was forced to hand back his medal, telling organisers he had “made a mistake”.

Yesterday, former Olympic runner Cram met Mr Cairns on an open-top bus in Edinburgh to present him with the bronze prize.

Mr Cairns, a police officer from the Scottish Borders: said “I was running along towards the end of the race pretty much on my own.

“I was thinking I had a couple of miles to go and I was happy that I was going to be third to get the podium place.

“Then I crossed the line and was told I was fourth. It was complete confusion.

“I think it was just a moment of madness for the guy who said he was third.”

Cram said: “To have run round and come rightfully third and not had the chance to be presented with your medal and get your TV interview wasn’t right, so we wanted to come and do this.”