- Miguel Larios, 31, worked at the Aon Center where the race took place
- Lost his job after posting ‘record-breaking’ time
A stair climbing champion who achieved a record-breaking time had a winning technique up his sleeve – taking the elevator.
Miguel Larios, 31, won the tough climb up the 62 storys of the Aon Center in downtown Los Angeles in an impressive seven minutes and 45 seconds.
Larios, who worked at the skyscraper, had entered in the 5th Fight For Air Climb which raises funds for the American Lung Association.
Organisers were furious when after looking into the 31-year-old’s amazing time – a course record – CCTV footage showed him jumping into an elevator.
Although Larios said that he didn’t cheat, he admitted that there was footage of him taking the elevator at the race on March 31.
He explained that his advantage came from having worked in the Center for ten years.
His punishment was severe – not only did Larios lose his crown as course champion, he was also sacked from his job as a maintenance man.
Mark Trahanovsky, a 53-year-old stair-climber from Yorba Linda, said: ‘We looked at this person’s body and his physique, and we knew (he did) not have the physique of an elite stair-climber.
‘He wasn’t sweating a lot; he wasn’t tired. He was wearing basketball shoes.’
Mr Trahanovsky added: ‘It’s like a swimmer using fins.’
Some 750 participants took part in this year’s Fight For Air Climb – but the majority focus on the charity aspect rather than being competitive.
The American Lung Assocation raised funds to fight lung disease and asthma along with promoting good health.
An association spokesman Bo Smith said little about Larios’ cheating scandal, only commenting: ‘There was no way to validate the time… He could have flown upwards.’
The next fundraising event is a swim in Santa Monica Bay in August.
He did not have the physique of an elite stair-climber… It’s like a swimmer using fins.
Mark Trahanovsky, fellow competitor