SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The disqualified winner of the Orange County Marathon says he still thinks he's a champion and denies he cheated.
Mohamed Fadil of Albuquerque, New Mexico crossed the line Sunday in a record time of 2:21:42 but he was disqualified a few days later because video showed a bicyclist paced him and gave him fluids — both violations of USA Track & Field rules.
Fadil told the Orange County Register on Wednesday that he was worried about getting lost and asked the cyclist to lead him because the official cyclist got a flat tire and fell behind.
As for the fluids, Fadil says he didn't know it was illegal.
Fadil says in his mind, he won the marathon and he'll defend the title next year.©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.