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Disqualified LA Marathon Runner Frank Meza Found Dead In LA River

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A retired 70-year-old South Pasadena physician who was disqualified last week from the L.A Marathon after officials determined that he had cheated during an unofficial world-record setting run was found dead Thursday morning just northeast of Dodger Stadium.

Dr. Frank Meza's body was discovered just after 10 a.m. in the Los Angeles Riverbed under Figueroa Street in the Cypress Park area, the L.A. County coroner's office confirmed to CBS2 Friday.

An autopsy determined he committed suicide.

Back in March, Meza allegedly ran the 26.2-mile race from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica in 2 hours 53 minutes 10 seconds, the fastest time ever for a man his age, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, officials with Conqur Endurance Group, which operates the marathon, say they reviewed footage from video cameras along the race route which showed that the retired physician left the course for a portion of his run, and that his time during one stretch was so fast as to be impossible.

His time during one 5K segment of the marathon would have been faster than the current 5K world record for the 70-74 age-group, Conqur wrote in a June 28 statement announcing his disqualification.

On Monday, Meza denied cutting the course. He told the Times he briefly left the race route to find a bathroom.

Meza had faced controversy over his running times in several previous marathons, the Times reports. The California International Marathon in Sacramento disqualified him twice, in 2014 and 2016, for irregular splits. He was then banned, the Times said.

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