Disgraced Mexican Politician Cheats on Marathon, Too

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After a humiliating defeat in Mexico’s presidential election last year, Roberto Madrazo appeared to be back on top: He’d won the men’s age-55 category in the Sept. 30 Berlin marathon with a surprising time of 2:41:12.

But Madrazo couldn’t leave his reputation for shady dealings in the dust. Race officials said Monday they disqualified him for apparently taking a short cut — an electronic tracking chip indicates he skipped two checkpoints in the race and would have needed superhuman speed to achieve his win.

According to the chip, Madrazo took only 21 minutes to cover nine miles — faster than any human can run. “Not even the world record holder can go that fast,” race director Mark Milde said.

In a photograph taken as he crossed the finish line, Madrazo wears an ear-to-ear grin and pumps his arms in the air. But he also wore a wind breaker, hat and long, skintight running pants — too much clothing, some said, for a person who had just run 26.2 miles in 60-degree weather.

Madrazo’s outfit caught the attention of the New York-based marathon photographer Victor Sailer, who alerted race organizers that they might have a cheater on their hands.

“It was so obvious to me, if you look at everyone else that’s in the picture, everyone’s wearing T-shirts and shorts, and the guy’s got a jacket on and a hat or whatever,” Sailer said. “I looked at it and was like, wait a second.”

Thank heavens for vigilant cameramen.

Madrazo’s history of corruption and lies while in Mexico meant everyday citizens were unsurprised by the news of his marathon shenanigans. It’s all in the AP article.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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