|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
September 8, 2000
Drug bust rocks Canada again
One of Canada's top Olympic hopes, equestrian Eric Lamaze, faces a lifetime ban from competition after testing positive for cocaine for the second time since 1996, sports officials said on Thursday.
News of the failed drug test came just days after hammer thrower Robin Lyons was kicked off the country's Olympic track team for a doping infraction.
Lamaze, 32, a member of Canada's show jumping team, failed a random drug test conducted at his Toronto-area home late last month, an executive at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport in Ottawa told Reuters.
"We have confirmed that he has tested positive for cocaine," said Victor Lachance, chief executive of the Centre for Ethics in Sport.
Lachance was unable to provide exact concentration levels of the drug found in Lamaze's test.
Lamaze had been tagged as one of the country's best hopes for an Olympic medal. Because the recent test represented his second infraction, he now faces a lifetime ban from competition, removing him from this month's Olympic Games in Sydney.
"It's clear that there's a doping infraction, therefore, right now, he's suspended and because it's a second one for Eric, it's a lifetime ban," said Don Adams, executive director of the Canadian Equestrian Federation.
Lamaze also tested positive for cocaine in 1996 and was suspended from competition for four years. This was later reduced to seven months after he successfully appealed the penalty, arguing he used the drug for personal, not performance-enhancing reasons.
Under Canadian policy, Lamaze has the right to contest last month's test with a second or "B sample." Although Lamaze's lawyer was not available for comment, both Lachance and Adams said the rider had chosen to take the second test. The result of the "B" test was not expected until Friday.
"It's a major disappointment for the Canadian team. Eric was a key member and a potential medallist, so it's a major disappointment. It's also a personal tragedy for Eric and we're very concerned for him and we feel for him," Adams said.
This is the latest disappointment for the Canadian Olympic program, still haunted by sprinter Ben Johnson's 1988 Seoul doping scandal and a very public inquiry into doping in sports in Canada.
Hammer thrower Lyons is appealing her suspension from the Olympic team after she tested positive for anabolic steroids earlier this week.
Mail your comments
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK