A number of times over the past year, I had started (and stopped) writing an article about the reaction to Rossi, and how there are still some people still are pushing for a Rossi disqualification from The 2014 VIA Lehigh Valley Marathon.
Mike is accountable for his own actions, nothing I say below should be interpreted otherwise. But for those that think Mike came out ahead by avoiding a disqualification, I think they should look at the big picture and be sympathetic to his family, at least.
Mike Rossi is in the news again. Following a domestic disturbance, Rossi reportedly attacked two police officers who responded to the incident.
The Butterfly Effect
Had Rossi not made the news for his viral letter that he posted on social media, his cheating never would have been public, and Marathon Investigation would not exist.
Now seems like an appropriate time to address the topic of Mike Rossi.
It was behind the backdrop of the Mike Rossi cheating scandal that Marathon Investigation was created. As the letsrun thread on Rossi continued on for weeks, and months after most were convinced that Rossi cheated, I asked the question,
Why is Rossi getting so much attention, is he the only cheater?
That question led me to check some other race results, where I quickly found another runner who obviously cut a course in order to qualify for Boston. Eventually, I posted this in The Mike Rossi thread on letsrun.
I have been consistent. Very early on, I felt that from a cheating perspective, the Mike Rossi story had run its course. Mike was one of many. Dozens of runners were found to have cheated in their qualifiers in order to run The 2015 Boston Marathon.
Following that post and after letsrun deleted a thread on this cheater that I uncovered, I created a blog, the precursor to MarathonInvestigation.com
Things Get (More) Personal
The letsrun thread about Rossi’s apparent cheating became dominated by those with personal and business issues with Mike, and as time went on it became less about running. I made the above posts starting on page 163 of the thread. The thread continued for over two years and 1200 pages before being locked down in July of 2017. Very little of what followed was really about running.
Still Receiving Criticism
Marathon Investigation literally started because I felt that the attention Mike was getting in the running community was disproportional to the severity of his cheating.
Still, to this day, there are people that feel Mike ‘got away with it’.
The reality is that as soon as Mike ran The 2015 Boston Marathon and received his medal, he technically ‘got away with it’. That doesn’t mean that he wins.
A disqualification in 2015 would have meant little. A disqualification today would mean even less. In reality, a quick disqualification may have brought closure to those that were out for blood, and the thread that became more about industry squabbles, and his family likely would have fizzled out.
As of a couple weeks ago, there was one twitter user (since banned under a couple of accounts) that posted about Mike daily. Others think that I’ve given Mike a pass, or preferential treatment.
There is irony in the claim that I am giving Mike special treatment by not pushing for a disqualification from his 2014 VIA Marathon.
There were over 60 runners that I had identified as having cheated in one way or another to run The 2015 Boston Marathon. These people that are pushing hard for me to continue to push for a Rossi disqualification have nothing to say about the others. They claim it’s only about the running, but clearly it’s about more than that for some.
After my initial analysis of Boston, I decided that it was most important to look forward and focus on catching runners who are actively cheating and keeping runners out of Boston in the first place.
My stance on Mike Rossi is the same as the others. Unless the cheating continues, there are better places to focus my energy.
Mike didn’t win. While he may have officially qualified for and ran Boston, I would have to think that he would give that up if he could go back in time.
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