Triathlon Cheat Faces Jail Time for Harassment and Fraudulent Impersonation

Amanda Wowk, an admitted Ironman course cutter has plead guilty of charges relating to months long harassment of 59 year old Edmonton man


Update 12/17/19 – As reported by CBC.CA, Amanda Wowk has been sentenced to 1 year in prison.

Hillier agreed that Wowk is a low risk to reoffend and does not pose a risk to the community, but he cited the “sophistication” of the harassment, and noted that a psychologist reported that Wowk sees little need for changes in her behaviour.
“I never had any negative ill will that I wanted to destroy them. I just wish at that point in my life I was as centred as I am now. It’s like looking back at a different person,” she told the psychologist, who was hired by the defence to complete the assessment.

In August of last year, I had a long conversation with Amanda Wowk. During that conversation, Amanda admitted to cutting the run portion of The Mont-Tremblant Ironman. She admitted this only after an elaborate attempt to cover up her cheating. Initially, she sent doctored images of her Garmin data to myself and to Ironman officials in an effort to prove that she did not cheat.

“Just Like Julie Miller” – Course Cutting and Cover up By Ironman All World Athlete

At the time, I was unaware that Wowk was facing charges related to Criminal Harassment of a man Wowk met through a cycling club.

During 18 months of criminal harassment, Edmonton man feared for his safety

“Murray, you are a worthless piece of shit that deserves to live a sad, miserable and lonely life,”

One example of harassing email sent by Wowk – CBC News

As reported by CBC in the above linked article, Wowk sent at least 169 harassing emails from multiple email addresses as part of the harassment. In summary, it is reported that:

  • Wowk sent the man at least 169 harrassing emails
  • Wowk hacked the man’s email account
  • Wowk impersonated a police officer in an attempt to stop the investigation
  • Wowk created a fake twitter account that she created in the man’s name to provide fake evidence to police

After Amanda initially confessed, Amanda and her mother contacted police and Amanda’s mother tried to take the blame as the one responsible for the harassing behavior.

While dealing with these charges, Amanda similarly, falsified information in her attempted cover up of her Ironman cheating. This falsified information was provided to Ironman and myself.

A Pattern in Behavior

When I spoke to Wowk in August 2018, it was over a year after her arrest.

As I wrote at the time, Amanda confessed to cheating. Because of the elaborate attempt at a cover up and my determination that her explanation did not hold up, I let Amanda know that I would be going forward with the article.

Before I even posted the article, Amanda sent an email that in part included this statement:

I don’t know your background with Alberta laws but here we have multiple forms of protection against defamation, libel, slander, and cyber-bullying. These can all be found under a variety of Albertan Acts as well as Canadian Constitution. The United States doesn’t greatly differ, but in fact has additional laws and regulations regarding this matter. 

After the article, her tone was similar:

Upon reading your article it appears that you did not record the events fairly or unemotionally. As I’m sure you’re aware facts are different from opinions, suspicions, feelings, questions, etc. Almost immediately I have incurred damages of this and there is no doubt that it aligns with the definition of cyber-bullying, libel, slander, etc. It is clear that your article was written with malice and ill-intent which not only goes against your statement but certainly adds to the severity of the situation legally. 

Amanda was accusing me of cyber-bullying, libel and slander, at the same time that she was facing charges of criminal harassment, defamatory libel, obstruction and more.

I feel My article was more than fair, and that I was true to my word and gave her every opportunity to respond, and that I presented the facts without bias.

Eventually she plead guilty to criminal harassment and fraudulent impersonation.


Amanda’s case is reminiscent to that of Kelly Agnew. Kelly has been disqualified from multiple fixed time races after being caught hiding in a porta-potty instead of running laps. Later, he was charged with stealing over $48,000 from his employer.

It is clear to me that those that go to such great lengths to cheat at sport, or cover up cheating, are more likely to have other occurrences of cheating or fraud away from their sport of choice.. These are just two examples where those occurrences have become public and have risen to criminal levels.

The prosecutor is seeking 15 to 18 months of jail time for Wowk. Sentencing is scheduled for November 7th.

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  1. Derek’s articles have been extremely fair, focusing on the facts and the ridiculous excuses people come up with. He even holds back articles when he doesn’t feel like there’s enough evidence to accuse someone of cheating.

    The only people who say this is “bullying” are the cheaters who have gotten caught.

    • I agree with you completely. However, since her mother was willing to take criminal responsibility for Amanda’s acts, I would suspect that she does not accept the full extent of Amanda’s problems. I hope someone in her life, or perhaps Canada’s criminal justice system can help her with her mental health.

    • Yes, that sort of enablement may help explain how she could grow up to be such an awful person.

  2. Derek, there’s been a bandit recently uncovered in one of the NYC Marathon Facebook when one of the runners checked their photos. The bandit was then found to be illegally subletting in the city when his name was run through Google.

    Your work is invaluable to the community. Those who get caught will always be incredibly sad and manipulative individuals.

  3. She’s also a pretty bad liar.

    Laws against slander and libel, while they do exist in Canada, are found in the Canadian Criminal Code, not under provincial statutes. Provinces in Canada do not legislate those sorts of things. There is also no reference to slander or bullying in the Canadian constitution. In addition, there is a very high standard for criminal libel; that is typically addressed in civil court, where the standards are a lot lower.

  4. Once again if people cheat in one area of life, the chances are good that this points to character flaws that manifest themselves in other things they do.

    • That has always been true until 07/04/19, then we were all told in so many ways (even scorned) cheating can only be confined to the competitive sport involved. Please, look no further. Actually, the veracity of the above story is in question, even if the court proceedings are confirmed independently, as all of this information upends the newly imposed regulation.

  5. In the article link it states that the defense team had this to say:
    “She (the defense attorney) also cited the pre-sentence report, which concluded Wowk was at “very low risk” to re-offend.”

    Apparently they were wrong as she was doing essentially the same thing here..

    • Wrong, It’s still libel–a slanderous published statement that defames. It, however is not legally actionable because its true.

      Bill Cosby is a rapist = libel
      Jeffrey Dahmer was a cannibal = libel
      Kaitlyn Jenner killed someone = libel
      Amanda Wowk is a convict = libel

      All those are published and defamatory. They are not legally actionable because they are true.

  6. maybe i’m watching too much mindhunter on netflix, but now that you’ve got a bunch of write ups (and real life conversations) on different cheaters you need to start compiling the similarities in the way they think and act. then start to figure out the motivators: social media fame, money, etc After all that, i bet you could start finding the cheaters based on their social media behavior before even looking into their results!

    also the correlation between cheating in races and other dubious morality is clearly pretty strong. you could get your own DSM-V code out of this !

  7. to further my thoughts: just like the in the documentary “Icarus” the author’s doping was the tip of the iceberg that uncovered the whole Russian olympic scandel etc, the race cheating you are characterizing is some form of mental illness that needs to be flushed out and investigated. and facebook and Insta-Twitter are possibly the cause, that’s the real story behind all this!

  8. I’m glad she is getting jail time, although she doesn’t have to turn herself in until after the holidays, so she “can finish her exams”. She’s currently in a Business program. I hope future employers check her record before they hire her.

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