Take a person with natural intellectual curiosity, give them a bunch of tools that are available with modern technology (timing mats, online results, athlinks, marathonfoto), and set them about a puzzle relating to something that they are interested in, and putting that puzzle together seems pretty natural to me.
Let's be honest, most runners are a little obsessive compulsive in the first place. So you throw that in with the above, and none of what Derek is doing seems all that odd to me, to be honest.
Finally, when you start getting attention for it, and it helps you make some cash in ad space on your website, and you can also truly take the moral high road - this is pretty easy to relate to.
The first part - yes.
The second part - yes
The public shaming and outing is going beyond intellectual curiosity and morphs into something more. Again, he does puts up the info without giving them a chance to respond. He says he will retract, but only later. It's like shooting first and asking questions later - the damage is done by the shot.
the public shame is the part of the attempt to monetize it. TMZ does it, Fox news does it. That's what makes it unseemly to me.
If Derek really just wanted to make the races more honest, he wouldn't need to try to capitalize on it. (not his website misstates the number of visitors as he uses page views and visitors) He could report the people to the RDs and get on with this life. there have been other people who have done this.
But he has to set up his "blog," shame people People say "well, they deserve it because they cheated" Their only punishment should be banishment from the races (but it's not like you can stop them from running,. Even drug cheats still race) Many of Derek's victims are harassed on social media and more. they don't deserve that. It's like imagine if everyone knew one of your mistakes and put it on a blog and promoted it for money.
I don't think Derek is a legally sound as he seems to think. someone will find a creative way to use the courts. You can't use the internet to harass people under federal law.