AN avid ultramarathon competitor has been banned and stripped of his titles after an investigation revealed he was hiding in a Port-a-Potty to win races.
Kelly Agnew, 45, was disqualified at Across the Years, a fixed-time event in Arizona, when he was spotted "registering laps without running the complete loop of the course," according to a Facebook post Wednesday from race organisers.
The serial cheater has won the 48-hour race four times since his first medal in 2014 for running 201.5 miles in the 48-hour limit, the New York Post reports.
Officials said they were first suspicious of his performances after he won the 48-hour race by more than 55 miles in 2015 - even though he stopped running seven hours before it ended - and decided to track him during the multi-day looped course in Phoenix.
"He was witnessed circling back at the start/finish staging area after completing a lap, spending over 7 minutes in a portable rest room and then 'completing' the lap and going on for his next without actually running the mile plus loop," organisers said.
Organisers took immediate action, approaching Agnew and asking him to turn over his racing bib.
They also announced that they were rescinding his first-place titles at four other races where he missed certain check-in points on the course. Agnew is banned from future races hosted by the organisation.
"It saddens us to see this take place at an event that is centred around camaraderie among runners and support of top performances," the Facebook post said.
"This type of cheating is not tolerated by our race or race organisation.
"At this point in time Kelly will not be welcome back to participate in races organised by Aravaipa Running.
"We would now like to take this time to recognise the new podium placings of our past events.
"These runners worked hard in their legitimate runs and we are sorry that this was not found out sooner so you could receive the recognition you deserved at the time.
"We will be recommissioning awards for the following runners to be sent out soon."
According to Derek Murphy, a business analyst best known for busting cheating roadrunners on his blog marathoninvestigation.com, Agnew also missed checkpoints at the famous Leadville 100 and has questionable times recorded for other races as well.
At least one sponsor dropped Agnew after he was busted for cheating at the Across the Years race, Murphy reported.
"It saddens us to see this take place at an event that is centred around camaraderie among runners and support of top performances," organisers said. "This type of cheating is not tolerated by our race or race organisation."
Agnew is yet to address the matter.
This story was originally in the New York Postand was republished with permission.