Friday April 14, 2017

Facial Recognition Software Used to Crackdown on Marathon Cheaters in China

Facial recognition software is being used in China to crackdown on cheating during marathon races. The act of wearing another contestant's bib during a marathon has become a huge problem as a health craze has swept China in last few years. This has made facial recognition software necessary to control cheating as a single half marathon will attract 20,000 contestants. Last year alone 2.8 million people entered marathons, and this has attracted the use of male "ringers" running in place of female entrants, and number switching of bibs as the prize money goes to the top 100 contestants.

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The Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) warned last month that it will serve lifetime bans for marathon cheats following a series of scandals involving unregistered runners taking someone else’s bib. The tough regulations were announced after two runners died at the 2016 Xiamen International Half Marathon in eastern China's Fujian province. One of the runners wore someone else's bib in order to take part. "However, some suspect the surging popularity of marathons is driven by a desire to score social media points rather than love of the sport," Xinhua added.