Ultramarathon runner Kevin Lin (林義傑) and two Chinese athletes taking part in the “Embracing the Silk Road” marathon were sent to a hospital in Iran yesterday after suffering food poisoning.
The event, a 10,000km, 150-day marathon that began on April 20, is part of efforts to increase public awareness about water shortages. The event takes the runners along the old Silk Road, passing through Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan on their way to Xian, China.
Staffers with The Home Expedition (THE), the company Lin founded with World Heritage magazine, said in a telephone interview yesterday that Lin, Bai Bin (白斌) and Chen Jun (陳軍), exhibited symptoms of food poisoning yesterday morning and were taken to hospital. All three returned to their hotel after being treated.
However, THE staffers said Iranian police were investigating allegations that Lin’s Iranian driver had added flunitrazepam, also known as Rohypnol, to the runner’s drinking water.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Lin Cheng-te (林政得), the chief of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council’s Tehran division, had been dispatched to assist Lin.
If Lin’s condition remains stable today, he would continue the marathon, THE staff said.
TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER