1904 St. Louis Olympic marathon full of scandals

5:43 AM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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1904 St. Louis Olympic marathon

St. Louis (KSDK) -- Wild dogs, a cheating scandal and alcohol all played a part in the 1904 Olympic marathon.

The St. Louis Olympic marathon started at Francis Field on the campus of Washington University.

Competitor Felix Carbajal of Cuba ran the race in street clothes and dress shoes because he lost all his money and equipment gambling in New Orleans prior to the race.

Len Tau finished the race in ninth place, but historians said he may have won if aggressive dogs had not chased him a mile off-course.

Fred Lorz of New York finished the race first, but later admitted he finished the last 10 miles in a car.

Thomas Hicks of Boston was eventually crowed the winner.  He nearly died after the race when his trainers fed him strychnine and brandy.

Two athletes from South Africa became the first African athletes to compete in the Olympics.


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