Swiss and Russian dominance at a dramatic CISM Military World Games (updated)

Note: this article has been updated as the initial article did not correctly reflect the results of the Middle Distance competition. The results are not yet official i.e. until published as official on the Military World Games 2019 web page.

The CISM Military World Games orienteering events kicked off with the middle distance competitions Sunday October 20 in Wuhan, China. Matthias Kyburz of Switzerland had the best finishing time among the men. However, the results of the competition are not yet official, due to reasons stated below, and no medals have as yet been awarded.

The competitions continued on Monday with the Long Distance where Anastasiia Rudnaia of Russia took the gold and the mens competition was won by Dmitrii Tcvetkov of Russia.

The Middle Distance competition was unfortunately overshadowed by extensive cheating by the Chinese team. Initially Chinese runners came in to the finish in first, second and fourth place among the women and second place among the men. An incredible result, but it was soon discovered and proven that the runners had received illegal assistance both by spectators in the terrain, markings and small paths prepared for them and which only they were aware of. A common protest was handed in by the national teams of Russia, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Poland and Austria and the jury decided to disqualify all competitors in the Chinese team. According to the jury decision their results were to be voided and not included in the results lists and they would not be allowed to start in the long distance competition. The Chinese appealed the decision to CISM but the protest and jury decision were upheld. However, the results are not yet official. It was initially announced by the MWG2019 Organising Committee that the long distance competition would be cancelled in its entirety, but following negotiations with CISM it was reinstated in the program without the participation of the Chinese team. They will also not start in the final relay competitions on Wednesday October 23.

Statement from the IOF Secretary General

The Military World Games is an event organised under the jurisdiction of the International Military Sports Council (CISM) but through a Memorandum of Understanding with IOF, the IOF rules govern the conduct of the event. The IOF takes the actions of the Chinese team very seriously and is pleased to see that the IOF rules regarding the fairness of competition were enforced by the jury and CISM and that the best solution was found for those athletes who compete within the regulations of the sport. The IOF will be investigating together with CISM how sanctions may be applied to those involved in the improper activities.

Although the event is not an IOF event, the IOF is investigating if any further actions need to be taken to guarantee the fairness of competition at the upcoming World Cup final in Guangzhou, China October 25-29. Military and civilian orienteering in China are completely separated organisationally and the World Cup has been controlled within the structure of the IOF with restrictions on the access to competition information. There is also time to make changes to stop similar types of cheating. However, The IOF will be debriefing the CISM controllers and making further investigations into the nature of the infractions. If verifiable evidence of any improprieties are found the IOF will apply any sanctions necessary to guarantee the fairness of the competitions at the World Cup.

The IOF Council will be meeting in connection with the World Cup final and will as part of the agenda discuss how the negative activities at the Military World Games may affect the IOFs support to developing Chinese orienteering and also the Memorandum of Understanding with CISM.

Finally, the IOF wishes to show its appreciation to the clean athletes and congratulate the medal winners of the Long Distance at the Military World Games 2019.

Medal results

Long Distance Men

  1. Dmitrii Tcvetkov (RUS)
  2. Frederic Tranchand (FRA)
  3. Ionut Zinca (ROM)

Long Distance Women

  1. Anastasiia Rudnaia (RUS)
  2. Ursula Kadan (AUT)
  3. Elena Roos (SUI)

Full results at