Frank Meza, a retired physician who was also accused of cheating in the Los Angeles Marathon was found dead on Thursday in a river, police, and relatives stated.
The body of 70-year-old Frank Meza was found at about 10 am Thursday in shallow water in the Los Angeles River by police, as per to the KABC reports.
Frank Meza of South Pasadena was earlier disqualified on Monday after video showed that he left the course in March for the duration of his record-setting time of 2:53:10. After the reports of his disqualification were out, Meza at that time insisted that he did not cheat.
In the meantime, as per to the initial reports, the cause of the death had not yet been determined or revealed, but officials, on the other hand, told the station that drowning is not suspected.
Tina, Meza’s wife, told The Daily Beast that he had been shocked and disturbed by allegations that he cheated in March and for the duration of various preceding marathons by cutting routes.
Repeatedly, he had denied the allegations charged against him. He also told the LA Times that he left the Los Angeles Marathon in order to look for a bathroom and used a sidewalk for a particular time for the period of his search before returning to the track again.
Tina Meza told the website, “Running was very important to my husband,”.
She further said, “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.”
Early Thursday, Meza, on the day of his disappearance, told his wife that he was headed out for a run, she said.
“I said, ‘It will be good for you,’ and he said, ‘I’ll see you later,’” Tina Meza recalled.
But after that Meza never returned and then his body was found in the river near the city’s Cypress Park section later that morning. “That’s all we know,” she said.
Officer Norma Eisenman said, the victim, who was initially not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
As per to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office said that the body of Meza body was found on the river bed beneath Figueroa Street.
The post-mortem of the body is still pending and Meza’s cause of death had not yet been determined, the spokeswoman further added.
Also, a business analyst in Ohio who is named Derek Murphy and runs a website called MarathonInvestigation.com posted an extensive post in late May that claimed to show some of the photographic proof that the retired physician had cut the Los Angeles Marathon course which was held a few months earlier and after that post was circulated, Meza was found dead.
The post also claimed that Meza had been disqualified for many times in earlier held marathons, which also comprises the California International Marathon in the year 2014 and 2016 before he was banned for life by race officials.
After Meza’s death, Murphy said in a statement on Friday, “I am deeply saddened to learn of Frank Meza’s death,”
He further added, “My heart goes out to his family and friends, and I wish for everyone to be respectful and to keep his loved ones in mind. There will be a time for comment and a broader discussion, but at this point, I feel that we should all allow those close to Frank the space to grieve.”