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A couple who 'cheated' in the London Marathon have said they are 'truly sorry'.
Monika Czarnecka and her husband Piotr were spotted running together in the race wearing the same number - 11250.
It later transpired that only Monika was registered for the event on Sunday 3 October, and Piotr had reproduced it so he could run alongside her and offer 'moral support'.
Monika told MailOnline: "I'm truly sorry for what we've done and didn't want to cause any harm.
"The supporters were amazing, and their cheering and clapping helped me finish the marathon and it hurts to think that I've let them down.
"This was my first marathon and I needed Piotr's support because I was worried sick that I wouldn't be able to finish it."
Piotr added that he takes full responsibility for what happened.
He said: "It was all my idea and I take full responsibility for it. I know it's wrong and I'm truly sorry, but I did what I did to support my wife."
A total of around 40,000 runners tackled the traditional 26.2-mile route from Greenwich to The Mall after last year's race was scrapped due to coronavirus restrictions, while a further 40,000 competed virtually.
Getting a place in the marathon can be tough, with places given away through the ballot earnt through the luck of the draw - it also costs £49 ($66) for UK residents to take part.
Others use their position to raise money for charities.
As such, when Monika and Piotr were seen running together, it prompted a backlash on social media.
One person tweeted: "I've had 9 rejections in 9 years. This kind of thing is incredibly frustrating. Next year is my last chance. I'm not holding out any hope."
Another said: "It's not fair if we are paying around £200 for a charity place, stressing raising £2k, and you get virtuals or fakes on course really."
A spokesperson for the London Marathon said an investigation was underway.
They said: "We are aware of the images that show two runners wearing identical numbers and we are investigating.
"We take any incident where a participant cheats or forges numbers extremely seriously."
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