‘I thought I was being kidnapped’: Eric Lamaze to appeal FEI four-year ban linked to drug test refusal

  • The FEI has banned Eric Lamaze for four years and fined him, “due to the submission of fabricated medical documents during an ongoing [Court of Arbitration for Sport] CAS proceeding”.

    The former Olympic champion told H&H he intends to appeal the FEI decision, which is in relation to his refusal to take a human dope test at a show in 2021. This CAS case is ongoing.

    “The athlete has committed an anti-doping rule violation under the [anti-doping rules for human athletes] ADRHA article 2.5 (tampering), due to the submission of fabricated medical documents during an ongoing CAS proceeding,” the FEI said.

    “In accordance with ADRHA article 8.3.2, the athlete was deemed to have waived a hearing, admitted the violation, and accepted the proposed consequences because he did not respond to the charge.

    “Given the absence of any mitigating circumstances, the athlete shall be subject to a period of ineligibility of four years (12/09/2023 to 11/09/2027). He is furthermore subject to a fine of CHF 15,000 and shall be required to reimburse the FEI its legal costs in pursuing the matter.”

    Eric, the World Anti-Doping Agency and Eric’s national anti-doping organisation, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, each have the right to appeal the decision to CAS within 21 days, and Eric told H&H he will do this.

    He said he had no knowledge of any fabricated documents, adding: “I’ve never authorised any documents to be given to them.

    “I’ve never authorised or forged any documents and have no idea why anyone did this.”

    Eric said he refused the test as he did not know whether the person who asked for it, at a show in Valkenswaard in June 2021, was genuine.

    “The test wasn’t done by the rules of any anti-doping programme,” he said. “I’ve been tested 100 times and never seen anything like that. They should have been wearing something with a logo on it, they had no accreditation or wristbands and they’re supposed to have a form you fill in but they didn’t. They’re supposed to look the part, not have jeans with holes in them and a jacket that looked like they were going to a nightclub. I thought I was being kidnapped – that’s why I refused to take the test.

    “It was a bit scary, and my groom who was there said that; he will back me up.”

    Eric said he called the FEI the next day to ask if it was a genuine test and had no reply for 30 days, “when it’s normally the next day”. He said he will appeal even though he has retired from competing.

    “If I do anything it’s for the next guy,” he said. “If you can leave your mark and it will help someone in future, do it.”

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