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Sale of Boston Marathon medals watched by eBay

By Jim Rutledge

BOSTON, Mass. — Medals awarded to runners in the April 17 Boston Marathon are selling on eBay, and the Internet company is closely monitoring the sale to prevent anyone from profiting from the tragic Boston Marathon bombings.

As of early May, only one site had the medal up for sale with 11 bids, the highest posted at $450. However, immediately following the race on April 17, five medals were posted for sale at $200 to $300 each. The medals are given out exclusively to those who finish the 26-mile race. This year, the marathon recorded 27,000 runners, but 4,000 of the runners could not finish the race because of the bombings.

Almost immediately after the medals were posted on eBay, Dan Ashworth, president of Ashworth Awards, the maker of the medals, told the Boston Globe, “It’s just disgusting.” Ashworth believes some of the medals being sold may have been stolen during the chaos after the bombings.

The May listing was from an Irwin, Calif. runner, who posted on his eBay site that he was one of the finishers and pledge to donate the proceeds to the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts.

“I will be matching the first $250 (from the sale) with my own contribution to the Boston One Fund. Once a ’bid’ winner is selected, I will mail the medal (no shipping charge) along with a receipt showing my matching contribution,” the seller, Jonathan Resnick, wrote on his eBay account. “I’m not attached to material things. The least I could do was make something good from something bad.”

In a statement by eBay, “Out of respect for victims, eBay does not allow listings that graphically portray, glorify or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering. EBay’s teams are monitoring related listings to ensure they comply with our policies.”

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