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Their Racing Pigeons Caught a Bullet Train. Then the Authorities Caught Up.

来源:纽约时报    2018-08-30 03:22

        BEIJING — If you ever try to cheat in a pigeon race, just remember this: Bullet trains travel much faster than homing pigeons.        北京——如果你曾试图在信鸽比赛中作弊,请记住这一点:高铁列车远远快于信鸽。
        Two men who tried to rig a bird race in China — and claim $160,000 in prize money — have learned that lesson the hard way. Both have been convicted of criminal fraud. Their pigeons did not survive.
        Homing pigeon races are a sport dating back at least to the 1800s. The pigeons are raised in lofts, then taken hundreds of miles away and released. The first pigeon to fly home to its loft wins.        信鸽比赛是一项至少可以追溯到19世纪的运动。鸽子被养在鸽笼里,然后被带到几百英里以外的地方放飞。第一只飞回鸽笼的鸽子赢得比赛。
        Pigeons have been clocked at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour for short stretches, and more than 80 miles an hour for hundreds of miles. Their speed and endurance have made it hard for people to cheat, even by smuggling a racing pigeon by car to a finish line.        鸽子在短距离内的飞行速度能超过每小时100英里(约合160公里),能以每小时超过80英里(约合130公里)的速度飞行数百英里。它们的速度和耐力使得人们很难作弊,哪怕用汽车将赛鸽偷偷带到终点线也不可行。
        But China, where pigeon-racing remains popular, has been feverishly building a high-speed rail network, with trains that can travel at nearly 200 miles an hour.        但在信鸽比赛仍然很受欢迎的中国,政府一直在狂热地建设高速铁路网,列车时速可达近200英里(约合320公里)。
        A Shanghai court announced this week that it had convicted two men of using fraud to win the Shanghai Pigeon Association’s annual Grand Prix. The court sentenced each man to three years in prison, but suspended the sentences so that they only have to report to a jail if convicted in another crime.        本周,上海一家法院宣布给两名男子定罪,他们利用欺诈手段赢得了上海市信鸽协会的年度大奖赛。法庭判两人各三年徒刑,但缓期执行。只有他们再被判一项罪名成立,才需要向监狱报告。
        The case was first reported by the Legal Daily, an official government publication.        官方出版物《法制日报》率先报道了这起案件。
        The rules of the Grand Prix call for pigeons to be raised in a Shanghai pigeon loft until the age of 1. For the race, the yearling birds are released from Shangqiu in Henan Province, which is 462 miles northwest of Shanghai by road, or 405 miles as the pigeon flies.        信鸽大奖赛的规则要求鸽子在上海的鸽舍里养到一岁。在这次比赛中,这些一岁大的鸟从河南商丘放飞。商丘位于上海西北,公路距离462英里(约合745公里),鸽子飞行的距离是405英里(约合650公里)。
        The two men came up with a scheme almost rivaling Mark Twain’s famous short story of a rigged animal race in Northern California, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” But the pigeon plot did not work.        这两个人想出了一个几乎可以与马克·吐温著名的短篇小说《卡县名蛙》(The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County)相媲美的计策。但是这一鸽子计谋没有得逞。
        The essence of the plan involved training the pigeons to believe they had two homes. The birds had been secretly raised not just in Shanghai but also in Shangqiu.        这个计划的重点是训练鸽子,使它们相信自己有两个家。这些鸽子在上海和商丘两地被秘密饲养。
        When the race was held in the spring of last year, the Shanghai Pigeon Association took all the entrants from Shanghai to Shangqiu and released them. Most of the pigeons started flying back to Shanghai.        当去年春天举行比赛的时候,上海鸽子协会把所有的参赛鸽子从上海带到商丘放飞。大多数鸽子开始飞回上海。
        But the four specially raised pigeons flew instead to their second home in Shangqiu. According to the court, the two men caught the birds there and then carried them on a bullet train back to Shanghai, concealed in milk cartons. (China prohibits live animals on bullet trains.)        但这四只经过特别饲养的鸽子却飞回了商丘的第二个家。法庭认为,两名男子在那里抓住这些鸽子,然后把它们藏在牛奶盒里,用高铁运回了上海(中国禁止把活体动物带上高铁)。
        When the men arrived in Shanghai, they released the pigeons, which quickly fluttered to their Shanghai loft, seemingly winning the race. But then the trouble started.        当这两人到达上海时,他们放飞了鸽子。鸽子迅速地飞到它们在上海的鸽笼,似乎赢得了比赛。但之后麻烦开始了。
        The men had released the birds too soon, shattering records for the race. Driving from Shangqiu to Shanghai, a distance roughly equal to New York City to Raleigh, N.C., takes nearly eight hours, and racing pigeons usually take almost as long. But the bullet train takes as little as three hours and 18 minutes.        这两人过早地放飞了这些鸟,打破了比赛纪录。从商丘开车到上海,距离大约相当于纽约到北卡罗来纳州的罗利。赛鸽通常需要飞差不多8个小时的时间。但是高铁只需3小时18分钟。
        Other pigeon racers cried foul. The result seemed like an avian echo of Rosie Ruiz’s famous victory in the Boston Marathon nearly 40 years ago, which was invalidated after evidence emerged indicating that she had run only part of the race.        其他的赛鸽手直喊犯规。这一结果似乎与罗茜·鲁伊斯(Rosie Ruiz)近40年前在波士顿马拉松赛(Boston Marathon)上的著名胜利如出一辙。在有证据表明她只跑了一部分赛程后,她的冠军头衔被取消。
        Shi Bin, a lawyer at Shanghai Runshen law firm who represented both men, said that the court had shown lenience in suspending the sentences because his clients had turned themselves in and confessed as soon as other pigeon racers challenged the result, and before the police opened a formal investigation.        代表两人的上海润申律师事务所律师石彬表示,法院在判处缓期执行判决时表现得很宽容,因为他的客户在其他参赛者质疑判决结果,警方展开正式调查之前就自首了。
        According to the Shanghai court, the two men destroyed the evidence, smashing the pigeons against the ground to kill them. But then they did make one good decision: They decided not to collect the prize money for the top finishers in the race.        上海的法院称,这两人毁灭了证据,把鸽子们摔死在地上。但接着他们也做了一个好决定:他们决定不领比赛给冠军的奖金。
        If they had accepted the money, the court said, the fraud would have qualified as a much more serious crime, and both men would have been liable to spend more than a decade in jail.        法院表示,如果他们接受了这笔钱,这种欺诈行为就会被认定为一种严重得多的犯罪,两人可能都要在监狱里关10年以上。

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