Runner accused of cheating found dead in L.A. River

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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Scenes from the 2019 Boston Marathon
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Scenes from the 2019 Boston Marathon
Men's winner Lawrence Cherono of Kenya crosses the finish line ahead of Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia during the 123rd running of the Boston Marathon on the sixth anniversary of the 2013 Boston marathon bombings in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. April 15th, 2019. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Kenyan Lawrence Cherono edges Ethopian Lelisa Desisa for first place for the Men's Elite race, at the 123rd Boston Marathon on April 15, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. - Kenya's Lawrence Cherono sprinted to victory in the Boston Marathon on Monday, overhauling Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa in the final few metres of the gruelling race to claim a thrilling win. In damp, chilly conditions, Cherono, Desisa and Kenya's Kenneth Kipkemoi broke away from the field over the final few miles as the world's oldest major marathon reached a dramatic conclusion. Desisa, the 2013 World Champion and two-time Boston Marathon champion, looked to be on course for victory as he kicked for home in the final 200m.But with the crowds at Boston's famous Boylston Street finish line roaring them on, it was Cherono who timed his finish to perfection, overhauling the grimacing Desisa just a few metres from the tape to claim a magnificent win in 2hr 7min 57 sec. (Photo by RYAN MCBRIDE / AFP) (Photo credit should read RYAN MCBRIDE/AFP/Getty Images)
Worknesh Degefa, of Ethiopia, kisses the ground after winning the women's division of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Worknesh Degefa, of Ethiopia, holds the trophy after winning the women's division of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Worknesh Degefa, left, of Ethiopia, winner of the women's division, and Lawrence Cherono, right, of Kenya, winner of the men's division of the 123rd Boston Marathon, hold the trophy at the finish line on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A runner tries to keep dry before the 123rd running of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Kenneth Kipkemoi, left, of Kenya, Lelisa Desisa, center, of Ethiopia, and Lawrence Cherono, right, of Kenya, compete in the final mile of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, of Charlotte, N.C., finishes the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, left, of Charlotte, shakes hands with grand marshall Meb Keflezighi, of San Diego, after finishing the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Fans cheer on the third wave of runners at the start of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Lawrence Cherono, left, of Kenya, runs to the finish line to win the 123rd Boston Marathon in front of Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, right, on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
A Boston police officer stands with others near a memorial to the 2013 bombing near the finish line, during a moment of silence at the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Richard Reinhardt, left, of Columbia, Md., Nicholas Haddow, second from left, of Calgary, Canada, and Brian Prendergast, right, of Brick, N.J., help Matthew Harpin, of Marietta, Ga., as they approach the finish line in the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Runners race to the finish line in the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Boston Athletic Association Chief Executive Officer Tom Grilk, left, embraces Joan Benoit Samuelson, first women's Olympics marathon winner, after finishing the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Judd Lorson, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., carries his 10-month-old son Logan across the finish line in the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Hiroto Inoue, left, of Japan, and Elkanah Kibet, of Fountain, Colo., head to the finish line in the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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