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Application of sports rule to criminal law

Ok, I know very little about the US legal system and have less idea what a 'class 6 felony' is... but:


Lyall, 36 and Brazelton, 40, were charged with criminal impersonation following the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 where Lyall used Brazelton’s number and placed second in the women’s 40+ event. Both women pleaded guilty to the charges placed against them and admitted their wrong doing to race organizer Ken Chlouber.

[some legal guy]:“Not only did she [Wendy Lyall] race as a 30-year old in a 40-year old age group but there were potentially people who had sponsors that could have dropped them because they didn’t get a place their sponsor requested,” he added. “It turned out that this was pretty serious. We filed the charges and started talking with her attorney. We came to the agreement that she would plea to the lower charges in exchange for doing some education and writing a letter of apology.”

What's going on here, and why exactly is this different to the police coming after someone for doping in a race? These people don't appear to have broken any actual laws beside the arbitrary rules created by the sporting body for the purpose of a sporting event.
May 20, 2010
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Interesting thought. From the view of "spirit of the game" rather than "letter of the law" seems analogous to doping.

My recollection was that there was no intention to defraud as such. Rather IIRC one participant unable to compete gave their entry to a rider that missed out...which seems to further mitigate their "wrong doing".