A runner said to have recorded the fastest ever London Marathon time for the over-65s took a 10-mile short cut, it emerged yesterday.
Anthony Gaskell, 69, crossed the finishing line in just three hours and five minutes during April's event. He was about to receive a plaque, but analysis of his race raised doubts.
The grandfather, from Wirral, Merseyside, said he cut a chunk from the course through injury.
"I have been called a cheat and disqualified from a race I never claimed to have won," he said. "I simply walked through a short cut to the end of the course where my belongings were waiting for me."
Second-placed Colin Rathbone, 66, of Northwich, Cheshire has now been crowned the winning pensioner. He finished the course just 38 seconds behind Mr Gaskell.