Cleveland Marathon officials announce Daniel Mesfun as men's winner

For almost the entire race, Daniel Mesfun had his runner's number covered (Source: WOIO)
For almost the entire race, Daniel Mesfun had his runner's number covered (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Representatives in charge of organizing the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon have announced that Daniel Mesfun is the official winner of the men's race.

Controversy surrounded Mesfun, who took first place with a time of 2:16:33 on Sunday. He wore a T-shirt over his bib for a portion of the race, covering his runner's number.

"We don't believe Mr. Mesfun was trying to gain an unfair advantage," said Executive Race Director Jack Staph, who explained that Mesfun put the extra shirt on to stay warm to ease stomach cramps, and forgot to remove it.

Watch Staph's address to the media, which took place Tuesday afternoon:

Mesfun removed his T-shirt blocks from the finish line, revealing his number. The runners who initially contended the win withdrew their complaints as they conceded that they couldn't have caught up with Mesfun, who gained a sizable lead by the end of the marathon, explained Staph.

This story will be updated.

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