Former Boston Marathon champion finally receives prize money from a stranger after 10-year wait

The 2014 Boston Marathon winner Buzunesh Deba has finally her received prize money from a stranger after waiting for 10 years following Kenyan Rita Jeptoo's doping ban.

At the 2014 Boston Marathon, Ethiopian distance runner Buzunesh Deba gave her all and settled for second place with Rita Jeptoo wining the race in style.

However, in 2016, Jeptoo, the winner of the marathon, was disqualified by the Athletics Integrity Unit over a doping offense and Deba was now crowned champion but without being paid the prize money she deserved.

She has waited for 10 years, patiently, to receive her money and it was finally given to her, not by the race organizers, but by a stranger.

The race organizers insisted that they gave Jeptoo all the money, the $75,000 for winning the race and an extra $25,000 for setting the course record, an amount they never got back from her following her doping offense.

"She took my chance. I lose so many things. I thought everything is to change after I hear the news, but nothing,” Deba lamented last month, as quoted by CBS News.

However, someone, whom she claims to not know, decided to heal her wound and grant her the prize money. As reported by CBS News, Doug Guyer, a Boston College graduate and a businessman in the Philadelphia area, read about Deba's story in the Wall Street Journal and decided to offer her the money.

The Boston Marathon fan decided he would pay her out of his own pocket and he actually did it by sending Deba a cheque for $75,000 as he also considered paying her the remaining $25,000.

Following the news, the Boston Athletic Association explained that they are still in the process of recovering the prize money from Jeptoo.

In a statement, they said: “The Boston Athletic Association stands for clean sport and fair competition. Following the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the B.A.A. began pursuit of reclaiming prize money awards from Rita Jeptoo.

“As the matter is still ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time. We are in the process of attempting to recover the prize money awarded to Ms Jeptoo, so that it can be repaid to Ms Deba.

“While we believe that Ms Deba is due the prize money as she is the rightful winner of the 2014 women's race, there are policies held by World Athletics and supported by World Marathon Majors that we, along with the other members of the organization, follow.

“The B.A.A is still pursuing Ms Jeptoo to recover the prize money for Ms Deba, which the B.A.A. believes would be a just and fair result for her and all runners who follow the rules. As this matter is still ongoing, we are not able to comment further at this time.”

posted Friday May 17th
by Abigael Wuafula