A bus-hopper or a race-winner proper? An Inside Out exclusive
Crowds applaud Rob Sloan as he completes the Kielder marathon in third place
Although he was stripped of the medal he insists he won it legitimately and agreed to be interviewed by me on Inside Out so he could put his side of the story.
Even he says there's something dodgy about the whole affair. However as a former soldier in the Royal Engineers he asks: "Who in his right mind runs 24 miles of a 26-mile race, diversifies (sic) off the route, manages to find a bus, makes his way back in the race, lies in wait until the first and the second has passed then joins the race and finishes third."
Rob Sloan on the day
Sadly there was no CCTV on the bus which would have finally proved one way or the other whether he was a bus-hopper or finished the race proper.
Yet stacked against him is a lot of circumstantial evidence.
Witnesses remember quite distinctly how a runner flagged down the spectator bus.
They recall him as wearing a Sunderland Harriers vest, earrings in both ears, and text-only tattoo on his right calf.
It matches Rob Sloan to a tee.
Rob Sloan's leg tattoo
As I put it to him: What are the chances of another competitor fitting that description? Even at those odds he did not waver. Whoever it was on the bus, he insists, it wasn't him.
Why hasn't he appealed against his six month running ban? Too expensive, he replies.
In his defence he turns to his runner's sat nav device. You can see more of this in the video clip below. The read-out shows him running at a constant pace for most of the marathon, but towards the close of the run it goes haywire.
His explanation is that it was because he was definitely running the end section of the course, which has tree cover and so it sent the device into a spin.
But the same evidence could be seized upon by those wanting to brand him a cheat. It went haywire, they'd say because he got on a bus and then hid amongst the trees before rejoining the race.
One thing is not in dispute. Rob Sloan can run a marathon distance. We put him on a treadmill for three hours and he did complete what is arguably a tougher version of the 26 miles and 385 yard run.
He returned his medal and accepted a ban. No criminal offence has taken place, so there's no judge and jury other than the court of public opinion.
Rob says he wants some good to come out of the notoriety he has gained.
He wants to run the Marathon of the North in aid of "Help for Heroes". However fellow Sunderland born runner Steve Cram may have something to say about that. As organiser of both races he wants to see a full admission by Rob Sloan before he'll be given a place.