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1980s / Boston Marathon Cheater Rosie Ruiz
On April 21, 1980 unheralded Rosie Ruiz was the first woman to cross the finish line in the prestigious Boston Marathon. Her apparent victory in record time was immediately suspicious. First, everyone assumed Jacqueline Gareau was the leading female. Nobody saw Gareau lose the lead in the race at anytime after the eighth mile. Furthermore, Ruiz's running shoes were barely scuffed and she was hardly perspiring in the unseasonably warm weather. Two Harvard University students signed affidavits stating they saw Ruiz illegally enter the course just a few hundred yards from the finish line. Ruiz denied the accusations and maintained she had run unnoticed among a pack of male runners. Few people believed her story and she was subsequently disqualified after an investigation. To this day Ruiz has stubbornly refused to return her winner's medal, so Gareau was given a larger medal. Twenty five years later Gareau was ceremoniously allowed to break the tape--a thrill that Ruiz deprived her from experiencing in 1980. Ruiz had qualified to run in Boston by finishing the 1979 New York City Marathon with a decent time, but investigators discovered she had cheated there too. (She left the course after a few hundred yards, took a subway train to an area near the finish line, illegally re-entered the race and finished 26th.) Ruiz promised to prove her innocence by winning the 1980 New York City Marathon. She never showed up.