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FEI suspends Eric Lamaze for four years

Tuesday, 10 October 2023

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Eric Lamaze has been suspended by the FEI for a period of four years. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



The FEI has suspended 2008 Olympic Champion and former world no. one Eric Lamaze for four years. Within an ongoing proceeding before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the FEI found that Lamaze had submitted fabricated medical documents – committing an anti-doping rule violation under the FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA) article 2.5 due to tampering with a doping control. 

Because Lamaze did not respond to the charge, he was by the FEI deemed to have waived a hearing, admitted the violation, and accepted the proposed consequences – in accordance with ADRHA article 8.3.2. 

Lamaze has also been given a fine of 15,000 CHF and has to cover FEI's legal costs.

Lamaze – who has had an incredible career, claiming individual gold and team silver for Canada with the legendary Hickstead at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, as well as taking the individual bronze with Fine Lady 5 at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio – retired from the sport in March 2022. Three years prior, in 2019, Lamaze publicly announced that he had been battling brain cancer since 2017. Nevertheless, Lamaze kept on competing internationally – with his last show being the Spruce Meadows 'Masters' in 2021. 

Following his retirement, Lamaze moved on to work as Technical Advisor for the Canadian showjumping team. “The situation with my health has forced me to make the decision earlier than I had envisioned, but the silver lining is that I still have the will to win and can contribute to the Canadian team and the sport I love through my new role as chef d’equipe," Lamaze said back in March 2022 when announcing his retirement from the sport. However, Lamaze did not return to the role as Technical Advisor in 2023 and, in February, Ian Millar was announced as his successor

A big sports name in Canada, Lamaze was awarded the Order of Sport in 2021, while he and Hickstead have been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. However, in the past, Lamaze has also been subject to controversy. He was barred from competing at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games due to positive drug tests. 

While the FEI has published a summary of its decision to suspend Lamaze, the full decision will not be made available at this stage – neither will further details on the fabricated medical documents. "This is an FEI decision in relation to the submission of fabricated medical documents within the ongoing CAS proceeding," a FEI spokesperson commented to World of Showjumping. "As such, because the CAS proceedings are still ongoing, the FEI will not be providing any further details at this moment."

In September, Lamaze was also called out for submitting fraudulent medical reports to the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario – on the occasion of attempting to adjourn a trial in a lawsuit regarding horse sales to Iron Horse Farm Inc. The in-house legal counsel of the hospital group that was claimed to have issued the reports regarding Lamaze’s health status, described the documents as ‘fraudulent acts’. In the Superior Court’s decision, the judge stated he could not “(…) find any of the evidence that Mr. Lamaze relies upon in requesting a trial adjournment to be either credible or reliable” and dismissed the motion for an adjournment of the trial.

Lamaze has also been facing other lawsuits regarding horse sales, as reported by Horse Sport back in September.

Eric Lamaze, WADA, as well as the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport each have the right to appeal the FEI's decision to CAS within 21 days.


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