The entire national orienteering team has been disqualified for using secret paths and markings during the Military World Games being hosted by China.
In the middle-distance race, the home team had finished first, second and fourth among the women, and second among the men.
But organisers later discovered the team - all serving soldiers - had strayed from the straight and narrow. The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) said spectators had helped them by pointing the way and a number of markings and small paths were prepared for them, which only they were aware of.
The games bring together military athletes from around the world every four years.
China built a village to host about 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials for the games, which kicked off in Wuhan on October 18 with a ceremony attended by President Xi Jinping.
The Ministry of Defence, whose People's Liberation Army are joint organisers of the games, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Orienteering is not the only sport to have been embroiled in scandal in China, with marathons also tainted by instances of cheating.
At one event in March a woman was caught using a bicycle for part of the course, while dozens of participants took shortcuts at the Shenzhen half-marathon in November.
Three Chinese runners were banned for life for breaking the rules at this year's Boston Marathon. (AFP)