By 1907 Fred Meadows was the Canadian champion in the five mile event and was gearing up to participate in athletics internationally. At the 1908 Summer Olympics he place sixth in the five mile event and also competed in the 1,500 m competition, although he failed to reach the final. Only a few months later, however, he was involved in a strange scandal involving his Olympic teammate [Dave Beland] of Quebec City.
In late October 1908 a runner by the name of "Walter Beland" won Quebec's annual Telegraph Road Race. Prior to the race, however, the organizers, having never heard of "Walter Beland", had become suspicious and began to investigate. It was soon discovered that "Walter Beland" was actually Fred Meadows, and that Dave Beland had altered documents to allow Meadows to compete as if he were from the province, so that he would be eligible to run in the Quebec City versus Montreal competition. Dave knew that Meadows, a former five-mile champion, would be able to give Quebec City the upper hand. To add credibility to the scheme, Dave also claimed that Meadows, who was now in the guise of "Walter Beland", was his brother. Meadows, as "Walter Beland", arrived in Quebec the night before the race and Dave instructed that no one was to visit him, claiming that his âbrotherâ usually grew nervous before a race and required rest. The organizers became even more suspicious when "Walter" failed to greet his peers from Quebec City and attempted to hide his face with a hat. "Walter" disappeared immediately after, which again heightened suspicions.
By the end of the day, rumors were already spreading that "Walter Beland" had actually been Fred Meadows. After an inquiry proved this to be the case, both Meadows and Dave Beland were stripped of their amateur status, in Meadows' case a consequence of having entered a competition under a name other than his own. He continued running as a professional and began entering marathons and long-distance races in May of 1909 and continued to compete through at least 1913.
Personal Bests: 1500 â unknown; 5 miles â 26:40.0 (1911).
|1908 Summer||London||Athletics||Men's 1,500 metres||Canada||CAN||3 h1 r1/2|
|1908 Summer||London||Athletics||Men's 5 mile||Canada||CAN||6|
|1908 Summer||London||Athletics||Canada||Round One||Heat One||3||4:12.2||at 14 yds|
|1908 Summer||London||Athletics||Canada||Round One||Heat Four||2||QU||26:16.2|