WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Frank Meza, the 70-year-old man who had been disqualified from the LA marathon last week was found dead on Thursday in the Los Angeles River.
- The retired physician was accused of cheating in March and during several previous marathons by cutting courses.
- According to ABC-owned KABC-TV, Meza’s body was found in shallow water Thursday morning and cited officials as saying the cause of death was not suspected to be from drowning.
Frank Meza, a 70-year-old retired physician who was accused of cheating in the Los Angeles Marathon was found dead in a river Thursday morning.
Meza was disqualified Monday after a video shows he cut courses. He allegedly left the course in March during his record-setting time of 2:53:10. Meza insisted he did not cheat.
Though officials have not yet determined the cause of death the station said that drowning is not suspected.
Meza’s wife, Tina, told The Daily Beast he had not been well because of the allegations that he cheated in March and during several previous marathons by cutting courses. Meza had repeatedly dismissed the accusations, telling the Los Angeles Times he left the Los Angeles Marathon to look for a bathroom and used a sidewalk for some time during his search before returning to the course.
“Running was very important to my husband,” Tina Meza told the website. “He had been running marathons for the last 30 or 40 years. He was very fast, quite fast, and now unfortunately he won’t run marathons anymore.”
According to Tina, Meza told her early Thursday that he was headed out for a run.
“I said, ‘It will be good for you,’ and he said, ‘I’ll see you later,’” Tina recalled.
But Meza never returned and his body was found later that morning in the river near the city’s Cypress Park section.
“That’s all we know,” she said.
A message seeking comment from Los Angeles police was not returned on Friday.
Meza was found dead after a business analyst in Ohio who runs a website called MarathonInvestigation.com published an exhaustive post in late May that purported to show photographic evidence that the retired doctor cut the Los Angeles Marathon course months earlier.
The post noted that Meza had also been disqualified for anomalous times in previous marathons, including the California International Marathon in 2014 and 2016 before he was banned by race officials for life.
Photo Credit: New York Post