Shocking news struck the runners of the Marathon des Sables late Thursday (Apr. 27). 9-time winner of the race, Rachid El Morabity threw in the towel a few minutes after being caught red-handed with food in the bag.
The goal of the race is to cover 250 km in 7 days across the Sahara, in food self-sufficiency. Any food provided by a third party is therefore prohibited. But an unannounced control operated in the tent of the Moroccan proved to be positive.
The sanction of the organization was immediate: a penalty of 3 hours sealing the end of the dreams of tenth title for Rachid El Morabity.
He who was aiming to join his compatriot Lahcen Ahansal in the legend of the event. El Morabity's teammate and compatriote, Aziz El Akkad, has decided to abandon.
Rachid El Morabity's younger brother, Mohamed, remains alone at the top of the ranking, 3 minutes 17 seconds ahead of his direct contender Aziz Yachou.
In the women's ranking, French marathoner Maryline Nakache is first, get ahead of Moroccan Aziza El Amrany and Japanese Tomomi Bitoh by 30 minutes.