A 70-year-old man accused of cheating during the L.A. Marathon has been found dead. Frank Meza, who was disqualified from the marathon after an investigation, was found dead in the Los Angeles River on Thursday, according to The Daily Beast.
Meza made headlines in March after posting the fastest time ever in the L.A. Marathon for a man of his age group. Meza finished in 2:53:10. The previous record was 4:10:07.
Marathon groups investigated that time, and determined Meza must have cheated. Marathon officials looked into it and came to the same conclusion. They ruled Meza left the course and re-entered the course at a different spot. Meza was disqualified by officials Tuesday. Meza claimed he left the course to use the bathroom, but did not cheat.
Details regarding Meza’s death are scarce. Meza left his house for a run Thursday. His body was found lying in shallow water, according to ABC 7 Los Angeles. Doctors do not believe he died from drowning.
The L.A. Marathon was not the first time Meza had been accused of cheating a race. The Los Angeles Times profiled Meza’s history in June, pointing to at least two other times where he may have cheated to get better times.
Meza’s wife defended her husband, telling the Daily Beast all the headlines about Meza’s cheating were “all manufactured lies.”
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