A veteran marathoner accused of having stubbornly cheated on Thursday was found dead in the Los Angeles River.
There is no known cause of death for Frank Meza, 70, a physician who had been disqualified from the Los Angeles Marathon a few days earlier.
His wife Tina told The Daily Beast that he has been devastated by allegations that he has broken the track in several races.
] "Running was very important for my husband. He had been running marathons for the past 30 or 40 years. He was very fast, pretty fast, and unfortunately he will not run marathons anymore, "she said.
She said that Meza told her Thursday morning he was running. "I said," It'll be good for you "and he said," See you later. "
According to KABC, rescue workers found Meza in the river around 1
His death ended a months-long controversy over his record time at the marathon in March and at many other races in a tragic way.
In LA, Meza crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 53 minutes, winning his age bracket and triggering Alarm Bells for Armchair Marathon Annoyances.
In May, Derek Murphy released an analysis of a series of races run by Meza, including photos that raise questions about whether he was a racing driver – someone who jumped out of the race and entered used faster means of transport before creeping back towards the end.
Meza denied it. In an interview with the magazine Canadian Running he admitted leaving the course but said it was innocent.
"What I can tell you is that I did not cut. My last marathons were canceled in search of a place to pee. I did not know that this violated the rules, I was not aware of that, "he said. "I've done this several times, I've found that my problem is that I'm not properly hydrate, I've never cut the distance, but I've gotten off track."
His case became hotter in the running community Debates Then, on July 1, the organization conducting the LA Marathon passed its exam and disqualified Meza.
"The video evidence is credited by a credible eyewitness account and our calculation of the actual running time of Dr. Meza for at least one 5km course segment confirmed should have been faster than the current 5km world record of 70-74 year olds. "
Meza continued to deny cheating and told the Los Angeles Times he hopes the Marching again to defend themselves in 2020.
On Thursday Murphy's website released new evidence against Meza, a photo of Meza, on the verge of the San Francisco Marathon 2014 bike was driven. The image was blurry, but Murphy noticed that the biker wore the same hat, sneakers and socks as Meza when he finished the race first in his age group.
Meza's wife said his longtime running partner had helped him deal with public humiliation.
"They were all artificial lies," she said about the headline-making allegations. "And he could not figure out why people were willing to do that."
"We do not understand why he was attacked," she added. "He was just a quiet, nice person. It hurt him a lot. I still do not understand.
She said he walked two hours a day, often through the hills, he also taught his patients to walk. "He loved freedom," she said.
She said neighbors in South Pasadena had Her house was filled today, and friends from all over the country had come.
"He has two children and three grandchildren who want that." "misses him a lot," she said.