After revealing the findings of an investigation, authorities in the northwestern province of Gansu mentioned, among the officials sanctioned, some leaders of the Communist Party and the administration of the county and city where the tragedy took place on May 22.
They emphasized that the incident occurred as a result of poor quality and unprofessional management.
The Gansu Government opened an investigation into the incident, as the marathon covered 100 kilometers and some parts of the route recorded temperatures close to zero degrees.
The mountain race was taking place in a forest in Baiyin County with 172 participants, but a spate of hail, freezing rain and gale force winds suddenly lashed a 20-30 kilometer section of the event, which included a high-altitude stage.
Organizers stopped the marathon when they found that many runners suffered physical discomfort and loss of body heat due to low temperatures, while some went astray.
However, 21 died, including Asian champion Liang Jing and Paralympic star Huang Guanjun.
As a result of the incident, China suspended other similar competitions until it checked its safety mechanisms, as it detected flaws in their organization and logistics to respond to emergencies.