Lamaze golden after two lifetime bans

Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:32pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Two lifetime drug bans could not stop Eric Lamaze from realizing his Olympic dream on Thursday as the Canadian captured the show jumping gold after two jump-offs.

Thrown off the Canadian team for the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games after testing positive for cocaine on two separate occasions, Lamaze was back in the saddle in Beijing and on top of the podium after beating Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson in a second jump-off.

There was a time, however, when it appeared Lamaze's career was crashing to earth rather than taking off.

The Canadian first tested positive for cocaine in 1996 and was suspended from competition for four years, including during the Atlanta Games.

This was later reduced to seven months after he successfully appealed against the penalty, arguing he had used the drug for personal, not performance-enhancing, reasons.

He was given a lifetime ban just before the 2000 Olympics in Sydney for consuming two banned substances found in cold remedies and a diet supplement.

This ban was overturned after his lawyer argued that the items had not been properly labeled.

During the time he was banned he again tested positive for cocaine, which he admitted he had taken in a cigarette during a party, and was given a second lifetime ban.

He successfully appealed against that ban on the grounds that the drug was used at a time when he was under a lifetime ban and was therefore irrelevant.   Continued...

<p>Eric Lamaze of Canada riding Hickstead celebrates his win in the final round of the equestrian jumping individual event at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>