- Organizers say Carlina Duran did not disclose her 2009 marriage
- She must hand over her crown to the pageant's runner-up
- Dominicans are divided over the contest organizers' decision
Officials are forcing the 25-year-old model who won the Dominican Republic's top beauty pageant to hand over her crown, saying she violated contest rules when she hid her marriage.
Pageant organizers claim Carlina Duran had been married since 2009 but told Miss Dominican Republic contest organizers she was single. Contestants in the pageant cannot be married or divorced, organizers said.
The runner-up in last week's Miss Dominican Republic contest, Dulcita Lieggi, will represent the Caribbean nation in the Miss Universe pageant, organizers said.
Dominicans were divided over the pageant's decision.
"If there is an established rule, and it comes out that she is married, she is violating the rule," said Rafael Concepcion.
On Duran's official Facebook page, fans lamented the move.
Dari Baez said taking away Duran's crown was unfair. "She already won it," Baez said.
Beauty queens from dozens of countries are scheduled to compete in the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas in June.