Home > The Scene

Winner of Cleveland Marathon facing disqualification

The winner of the Cleveland Marathon is facing disqualification for wearing a t-shirt over his number during the race


Daniel Mesfun is the contested winner of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon which took place Sunday May 20th. Mesfun crossed the finish line first and ran 2:16.32, but he is facing disqualification. Mesfun wore a t-shirt during nearly the entire race, and then removed the shirt just two blocks before the finish line to reveal his race number. 

The men who finished second and third have contested that Mesfun broke the rules. There is no official ruling yet, but the race is under review. 


Mesfun can be seen above crossing the finish line, holding his shirt in his left hand.

Based on the USATF rules and regulations, it’s likely that Mesfun will be disqualified. Race numbers are provided partially to make runners visible to their competitors and officials. 



Mesfun reportedly said that he wore the shirt during his warm-up because of cramps in his midsection. Arguments have been presented both for, and against Mesfun. The rules technically state that what Mesfun did was illegal, however, others have suggested that he is being challenged by his competitors, not because the second and third runners were confused by the t-shirt, but because they lost. 

The final ruling will be posted over the next few days.