Unscheduled toilet breaks are an inevitable feature of marathon running yet competitors at the Beijing Marathon may face disqualification if they do so at the upcoming event. The ruling comes in response to the fact many runners relieved themselves on the walls of the Forbidden City at the race last year.
Organisers of the race, scheduled for October, have released a statement saying any contestants who exhibit 'uncivilised behaviour, such as relieving oneself in public and littering' will be banned. The Forbidden City, located in the centre of Beijing, houses the Palace Museum and stands as a UN world heritage site.
Images of runners urinating on the former imperial palace caused a strong response from the public and runners may face further punishment from the Chinese Athletic Association if they’re caught having a comfort break in the wrong place.
To avoid a recurrence, organisers have also promised to provide more toilets at the race, to cater fro the more than 30,000 runners expected to take part.