Richmond Marathon winners disqualified after cover up

RICHMOND, Va. -- Top finishers in the Anthem Richmond Marathon have been disqualified, Sports Backers announced Wednesday. Julius Koskei, the top male finisher in Saturday’s marathon, and Firegenet Mandefiro and Gadise Megersa, the first and third-place female finishers in the Markel Richmond Half Marathon were disqualified.

"Their disqualification stems from their representation by a banned agent and attempts to hide this representation by the agents and athletes during the elite athlete registration process," a Sports Backers spokesperson said. "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."

The Anthem Richmond Marathon event committee investigated the athletes’ connection to the agent and their attempts to cover it up, the spokesperson said.

As a result of the disqualifications, here are the updated race results:

Anthem Richmond Marathon – Open Division (Men)

Place Open Men Time

1 Temesgen Habtemariam (Ethopia) 2:21:28

2 Ricky Flynn (Greenville, SC) 2:22:05

3 Matt Cheney (Southern Pines, NC) 2:23:57

4 Don Strehler (Moseley, VA) 2:26:25

5 Tim Grüber (Richmond, VA) 2:28:19

Markel Richmond Half Marathon – Open Division (Women)

Place Open Women Time

1 Nicole DiMercurio (Blowing Rock, NC) 1:14:10

2 Letitia Saayman (South Africa) 1:15:14

3 Margaret Wanjiur (Kenya) 1:16:14

4 Esther Atkins (Greenville, SC) 1:17:16

5 Tristin Van Ord (Raleigh, NC) 1:17:25