Tag Archives: L.A.

Marathoner Accused of Cheating Found Dead in L.A. River

Marathoner Accused of Cheating Found Dead in L.A. RiverJerod Harris/GettyA veteran marathoner who had been dogged by accusations of cheating that he steadfastly denied was found dead in the Los Angeles River on Thursday, according to authorities and his family.A cause of death has not been determined for Frank Meza, 70, a doctor who had been disqualified from the Los Angeles Marathon just days earlier.His wife, Tina, told The Daily Beast that he had been devastated by the allegations that he had cut the course in several races.“Running was very important to my husband. 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,” she said.She said that on Thursday morning, Meza told her he was going out for a run. “I said, ‘It will be good for you,’ and he said, ‘I‘ll see you later,’” she said.At around 10 a.m., according to KABC, rescue workers found Meza in the river. “That’s all we know,” she said.His death brought a tragic end to a months-long controversy over his record-setting time in the March marathon and in numerous other races.In L.A., Meza crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 53 minutes, winning his age category and setting off alarm bells for armchair marathon sleuths.In May, Derek Murphy published an analysis of a slew of races run by Meza, including photos that raised questions about whether he was a course-cutter—someone who jumps out of the race and uses a faster mode of transportation before sneaking back in toward the end.Meza denied it. In an interview with Canadian Running magazine, he admitted leaving the course but said it was innocent.“What I can tell you is that I did not cut. My last few marathons I have had to step off the course, looking for a place to pee. I didn’t know this was against the rules, I was not aware of that,” he said. “I’ve done this several times. I’ve realized my problem is that I don’t hydrate properly. I have never cut the distance but I have stepped off of the course.”His case became the subject of heated debate in the running community. Then on July 1, the organization that runs the L.A. Marathon completed its review and disqualified Meza.“The video evidence is confirmed by a credible eyewitness report and our calculation that Dr. Meza’s actual running time for at least one 5K course segment would have had to have been faster than the current 70-74 age-group 5K world record,” it statedMeza continued to deny cheating, telling the Los Angeles Times that he hoped to run the marathon again in 2020 to vindicate himself.On Thursday, Murphy’s site posted new evidence against Meza, a photo of what he said was Meza riding a bike on the sidelines of the 2014 San Francisco Marathon. The picture was blurry, but Murphy noted that the biker was wearing the same hat, sneakers and bright socks as Meza was when he finished the race first in his age group.The marathon runner was found dead on the same day.In a statement, Murphy said was “deeply saddened” to learn of Meza’s death.“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,” he said. “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.”Meza’s wife said the accusations were so damaging to her husband because his identity was so wrapped up in running.“They were all manufactured lies,” she said. “And he couldn’t figure out why people were willing to listen to this.”“We don’t understand why he was attacked,” she added. “He was just a soft-spoken, nice person. It hurt him deeply. I still don’t understand it.”She said that he ran two hours a day, often through the hills. He also taught his patients how to run. “He loved the freedom of it,” she said.She said neighbors in South Pasadena filled their house today, and friends were flying in from all over the country.“He has two children and three grandchildren who will miss him very much,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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L.A. school board seeks pause on charter schools, after teachers' strike

L.A. school board seeks pause on charter schools, after teachers' strikeThe Los Angeles school board voted on Tuesday to ask state lawmakers for a moratorium on new charter schools in the area, as demanded by a union for more than 30,000 teachers in a six-day strike that ended last week. The 5-1 vote by the school board represented a dramatic shift for a panel on which at least half the members had previously supported charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately managed. Charter schools operate in most of the United States with teachers who often are not represented by a union.



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As US teachers ramp up pressure, face reality: L.A. strike was about control, not students

As US teachers ramp up pressure, face reality: L.A. strike was about control, not studentsDon't let myths perpetuate a massive, outdated system. The hope for students lies in charter schools. That's what public education should look like.



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Amazon CEO Bezos reportedly didn't have a prenup, dating L.A. TV anchor-helicopter pilot

Amazon CEO Bezos reportedly didn't have a prenup, dating L.A. TV anchor-helicopter pilotAmazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie's divorce announcement was reportedly timed to the release of photos of Bezos with another woman.



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Every Must-See Debut from the 2018 L.A. Auto Show

Every Must-See Debut from the 2018 L.A. Auto Show



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L.A. County Fire Chief responds to Trump’s remarks about California wildfires

L.A. County Fire Chief responds to Trump’s remarks about California wildfiresL.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby responded after President Trump tweeted that “gross mismanagement” was the cause of California wildfires. Chief Osby called the president’s remarks “unsatisfactory” and “hurtful” to first responders.



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Three Employees Fired at L.A. Fitness After Black Men Kicked Out of New Jersey Gym

Three Employees Fired at L.A. Fitness After Black Men Kicked Out of New Jersey GymThree workers at a New Jersey gym have been fired after they allegedly kicked out two black men and called the police on them.



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South L.A. Teen Gives Powerful Speech On Trauma Of Surviving Gun Violence

South L.A. Teen Gives Powerful Speech On Trauma Of Surviving Gun ViolenceA teen from South Los Angeles who lost her brother to gun violence commanded



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12-Year-Old Female Student in Custody After Shooting at L.A. Middle School

12-Year-Old Female Student in Custody After Shooting at L.A. Middle SchoolOne boy is in critical condition and a girl is in fair condition



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L.A. Woman Who 'Vanished' Months Ago May Be a Human Trafficking Victim, Authorities Say

L.A. Woman Who 'Vanished' Months Ago May Be a Human Trafficking Victim, Authorities SayAuthorities in Florida say a California girl may be a victim of human trafficking



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