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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ex-Olympic champ Aries Merritt continues return after kidney transplant

Photo: Getty Images
DES MOINES REGISTER | Andrew Logue

For nearly two years, Aries Merritt ran with a secret.

A rare genetic disorder ravaged Merritt’s kidneys, leaving the reigning Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion in desperate need of a transplant.

As he continued to race, others started to wonder: Why was the fastest man ever to compete in that event slipping off his pace, from global dominance in 2012 to a third-place finish at the USA Outdoor meet a year later?

“No one had any idea,” Merritt explained. “There was all kinds of speculation beforehand like, ‘What’s going on with him?’

“I didn’t really tell anyone. I was just trying to deal with it in my own way.”

The 30-year-old Merritt received a new kidney Sept. 1 — just four days after a bronze-medal effort at the World Championships in Beijing — and has spent the last seven months recuperating. Continue reading

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