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Olympic show jumper faked brain cancer to avoid lawsuit, court finds

Eric Lamaze’s forged documents exposed by private detective

Eric Lamaze, a Canadian Olympic gold medalist in show jumping, has been accused of faking brain cancer to dodge a lawsuit over the sale of three horses. Lamaze, 55, was facing multiple legal actions when he first announced in 2019 that he had glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive type of brain tumor. He claimed that his cancer had spread to his throat and that he needed a high-risk surgery that would leave him unable to speak.

However, his claims were challenged by Iron Horse Farm, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who hired a private detective to investigate Lamaze’s medical records. The detective found out that the documents submitted by Lamaze as proof of his condition were forgeries. They were written in Dutch, a language that the named specialist did not speak, and had errors in the address and signature of the hospital.

Lamaze’s attorney, Tim Danson, who had known him for 30 years, also withdrew from the case after learning about the fraud. He said in court that Lamaze was “very sick, but maybe not with cancer”.

Olympic show jumper faked brain cancer to avoid lawsuit

Lamaze’s history of drug abuse and horse trading

Lamaze is Canada’s most successful Olympic show jumper, having won individual gold and team bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and another bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also won gold at the 2015 Pan American Games and bronze at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

However, he also has a history of drug abuse and controversy. He was disqualified from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics for testing positive for cocaine. He admitted to having a “really bad drinking problem” and a “hole” in his nose from cocaine use.

Lamaze also made millions of dollars from buying and selling horses for wealthy clients. He was sued by Iron Horse Farm for allegedly selling three horses that were not fit for competition in 2010. The lawsuit claimed that Lamaze knew about the horses’ health issues and concealed them from the buyers. Lamaze denied the allegations and counter-sued for defamation.

Lamaze insists he did not lie about his cancer

Despite the evidence against him, Lamaze maintains that he did not lie about his cancer diagnosis. He told The Daily Beast that he walked out of a hospital in 2020 when he was given only two hours to live, and miraculously recovered on his own. He also shared photos of him looking frail in a hospital bed, and another showing a scar on his head that he said was from his brain surgery.

However, experts have cast doubt on his claims. A neuro-oncologist said that the surgery he described would leave a linear scar, not a zig-zag one. A plastic surgeon said that the cavity near his nose was consistent with cocaine use.

Lamaze blamed the forged documents on a member of his staff who did “funny things”. He said he never had a Dutch doctor and that he was “deceitful” to protect his doctors who helped him.

Justice Marvin Kurz ruled earlier this month that Lamaze “feigned end-stage cancer” to avoid a “day of reckoning” in the lawsuit. He ordered Lamaze to pay costs for the missed hearings and gave him until Oct. 9 to find a new attorney or risk losing the lawsuit by default.

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