Mohamed Fadil accepted water from a cyclist who was not affiliated with the race.
The winner of the recent Orange County Marathon in southern California was disqualified after a video showed him receiving assistance from a cyclist who was not part of the race.
Mohamed Fadil was the original victor in a course record time of 2 hours, 21 minutes, 42 seconds, but the runner-up—Stephan Shay—protested after claiming Fadil had outside help during the race. As the video above shows, Shay’s brother confronted the cyclist who had been providing Fadil with water.
“You’re assisting him. It’s cheating,” Shay’s brother said.
“Relax buddy, it’s because your brother got beat,” the man on the bike responded.
The pair had a heated argument and it appeared they were about to get physical with each other before the cyclist rode away and re-joined the race.
Race director Gary Kutscher watched the video and talked with witnesses before making the decision to disqualify Fadil from the race, giving Shay the victory. Fadil said he did not know it was against the rules to accept outside assistance.
“I believe Mohamed completely when he says he was unaware of that,” Kutscher told NBC San Diego. “But the video was so compelling that what was going on was in direct violation of those rules. I hope he understands that I had to do what I had to do as a race director.”
And Kutscher said the situation will not affect Fadil’s participation in the race moving forward.
“I told Mohamed that this is not a ban and that this is simply a disqualification of one race and we would welcome him back,” he said.