The Lance Armstrong doping scandal has reached all the way back to the 2008 Boston Marathon — specifically, place No. 497.
According to executive director of the Boston Athletic Association Tom Grilk, it’s likely that Armstrong’s 2008 finish in the Marathon will join his seven Tour De France titles on a growing list of vacated results.
“The probability is that [Armstrong’s] result will be vacated,” said Grilk Wednesday. “We just haven’t heard final word yet from the higher powers [United States Anti-Doping Agency] as to what specific time periods they have results for. But if 2008 is in their time frame, then there’s no question his result will be expunged.”
If Armstrong’s results were thrown out, it would mean everyone who finished after No. 497 would move up.
Sliding up a spot after finishing that far back may seem insignificant, but news of the possibility came as music to the ears of Westport, Conn., native, Adam Mulia — who finished with the same time as Armstrong — 2 hours 50 minutes 58 seconds.
“There was a cloud around Armstrong even back then,” remembered Mulia, 36, who continues to train and run. “I had heard the reports about this test sample and that test sample, so even back then beating an alleged cheater was something that crossed my mind.”
Grilk explained that the Boston Marathon, like many other major marathons, abides by the decisions of the USADA.
“We follow what the USADA does,” he said. “Whatever they decide we will recognize.
“In the grand scheme, what’s happened with Lance Armstrong has many global implications, just not here at the Boston Marathon, given that he finished [out of contention],” said Grilk, who stressed that the BAA takes the issue of doping in the Boston Marathon very seriously.
The USADA released its report containing more than 1,000 pages of evidence against Armstrong on Oct. 10.
The report included the sworn testimony from teammates; the most damaging of which came from George Hincapie who raced alongside Armstrong for all seven of his Tour de France titles. As a result of the report’s findings, the International Cyclist Union vacated Armstrong’s titles and barred him from further competition.
“It was interesting because with about 5 kilometers remaining people watching the race started shouting ‘Armstrong’s just a bit in front of you, go get him,’ ” said Mulia, who had been holding back to help pace a friend in the race.
“After I heard that we were close [to Armstrong] I looked at my friend and said ‘I’ve got to go. I don’t want to be a runner who gets beaten by a cyclist.’ ”
Mulia then gave the 26.2-mile course all he could, conquering Heartbreak Hill, and racing down Boylston Street to Copley Sqaure, only to see his time listed as identical to Armstrong’s.
“I didn’t feel like I was competing against someone who was my peer as a runner because of the allegations against him at the time,” said Mulia. “It’s a disappointment for all athletes when something like that comes out and I wish that hadn’t been the case. I wish I had beaten a true athlete.
“I think everybody else whose been effected by Armstrong’s [alleged] doping probably feels similarly to me and it’s unfortunate that they don’t get any redemption really.”Seth Lakso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @sethlakso