WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Frank Meza, a 70-year-old doctor, broke a record for the fastest time run in his age group during the Los Angeles Marathon.
- Skeptics said his time, 2:53:10, was “impossible” and further investigation lead to Meza being disqualified.
- Video footage captured him exiting the course and returning at a different point of entry.
Running a marathon isn’t exactly something high stakes unless perhaps you’re a top finisher. Most people participate simply to have fun or contribute to a cause. Even so, there are still times when cheating abounds.
A 70-year-old doctor named Frank Meza joined the Los Angeles Marathon in March. He ran a pretty fast time, especially for his age, finishing the race in 2:53:10. The next fastest time for the 70-74 age group was recorded at 4:10:07 by Dan Adams. This caused skeptics to scrutinize Meza who supposedly broke a marathon record with his time.
Some said it was too fast and others even deemed Meza’s time for one segment of the race “impossible”. L.A. Marathon officials also reached the same conclusion — that Meza cheated.
An investigation revealed video footage of the doctor leaving the course and returning at a different point. Officials say the footage was confirmed by a “credible eyewitness report”. The runner was ultimately disqualified from the race.
Though Meza maintains his innocence, saying he didn’t “cut the course”, only leaving to find a bathroom. Some profiling done by Times described him as an active community member devoted to focusing his free time on low-cost health care, a mentor and an assistant track coach to students at Loyola High, Los Angeles.
It also reports that he’s a serial marathon cheater. Meza has been disqualified and banned from the California International Marathon after being caught cheating twice.
He says that all the scrutiny has taken the fun out of what was supposed to be recreational running.
Source: Yahoo Sports