Date: Monday, 21 May 2018
When Daniel Mesfun crossed the finish line first during the Cleveland Marathon on Sunday he probably had no idea the T-shirt he was waving over his head would be the source of such controversy.That T-shirt was covering his bib, or runner's number, for most of the race.
Mesfun finally took it off to revel his bib number with about 400 yards left in the race.
The second and third place finishers are protesting that this was a violation and they may have a point.
The staff of the Cleveland Marathon began work minutes after the race, and continued Monday, to see if this was a violation that could disqualify Mesfun who is an elite runner from the county of Eritea.
"We are working on it this morning," Joan Freese said who is the Communication Director for the race. "Jack Staph will make the final decision and we will hopefully have it resolved soon."
Jack Staff is the Executive Race Director and has been involved with the marathon since it began 41 years ago.
The answer behind whether or not Mefun is disqualified will be heavily influenced by officials with USA Track & Field (USATF).
The USATF has several rules when it comes to competitive racing.
It appears Musfun may have violated the rules under section 143, "Athletic Attire," subsection number 4 (b).
No one is contesting Mesfun ran the entire race.
His bib did pass every computerized check point along the 26.2 mile route.
At stake is money.
The first place finisher for the men's full marathon receives $3,000.
Second place is $1,000 and third is $500.
We are expecting a decision soon from Cleveland Marathon officials.