Richmond men's marathon, women's half marathon winners disqualified

Richmond men's marathon, women's half marathon winners disqualified

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The top male finisher in the Saturday's Richmond Marathon and two of the top three female finishers in the half marathon have been disqualified.

Sports Backers said Julius Koskei, who won the men's marathon, and Firegenet Mandefiro and Gadise Megersa, the first and third-place female finishers in the half marathon, were represented by a banned agent.

"Elite entry and prize money rules state that to be eligible for elite entry or the prize purse at the Anthem Richmond Marathon, Markel Richmond Half Marathon, and VCU Health 8k, an athlete must not be represented by coaches and/or agents who have had two or more athletes suspended or banned for the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the previous four years," Sports Backers said in a news release.

"The athletes' connection to this agent, and their attempts to cover it up, were discovered during a subsequent investigation into race results by the Anthem Richmond Marathon event committee."

With the disqualifications, the men's marathon champion is Temesgen Habtemariam of Ethiopia, who ran a time of 2:21:28, followed by Ricky Flynn and Matt Cheney, who are both from North Carolina.

The top three women in the half marathon are now: Nicole DiMercurio of North Carolina, Letitia Saayman of South Africa, and Margaret Wanjiur of Kenya.

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