London Marathon runner died after using banned supplement

LONDON (AP) - A coroner says a London Marathon runner whose death touched hearts globally and inspired more than US$1 million (S$1.23 million) in donations, had taken a dietary supplement which may have contributed to her heart failure.

Claire Squires collapsed near Buckingham Palace last April near the end of the marathon, which she was running to raise money for an organisation that helps prevent suicides.

At an inquest on Wednesday, her boyfriend Simon van Herrewege said the 30-year-old runner's water bottle included a scoop of the supplement Jack3D, which contains a stimulant called DMAA or dimethylamylamine.

Coroner Dr Philip Barlow says DMAA "on the balance of probabilities, in combination with extreme physical exertion, caused acute cardiac failure, which resulted in her death".

The substance was bought legally online. It is on the list of substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

The coroner said he hopes the case would highlight the potential dangers of DMAA, which increases the heart rate.

Marathon organisers are now assessing changes to the advice given to recreational runners about the use of supplements.

"The substance is on the (Wada) banned list, but the only athletes to be tested would be elite athletes," London Marathon spokesman Nicola Okey told The Associated Press. "We just ask the rest of the runners to be medically fit. We don't make any other inquiries about what substances they are taking.

"We will be amending our medical advice following the inquest's verdict. We obviously give medical advice, but it hasn't mentioned before the use of supplements."