An Olympic champion was found to have faked end-stage cancer to avoid a six-figure court case, new documents have revealed.
Eric Lamaze, 55, is Canada’s most successful Olympic showjumper and has been embroiled in a £400,000 lawsuit over three horses he sold in 2010.
He won individual gold and team bronze at Beijing 2008 and added another bronze eight years later at the Rio 2016 Games.
Lamaze also secured Pan American Games gold in 2015 as well as a bronze at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
The rider, who earned more than £800,000 in 2007 alone, missed the Olympics in Tokyo and retired in 2022 in order to focus on his health.
He was initially diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 and went public with the news two years later.
But now it has been revealed he submitted fraudulent documents relating to his condition to delay a court hearing as part of a £400,000 lawsuit against him.
Lamaze is accused of selling three horses from his Torrey Pines Stables to Iron Horse Farm in 2010 that were not up to the standard expected.
A long-running legal case has rumbled on since then and in July his attorney Tim Danson applied for a delay in proceedings.
The document cited medical issues – but there were no medical records attached – just photos of his disfigured face following brain surgery.
Justice Marvin Kurz published two endorsements, with the first stating that Lamaze’s stables had brought a motion asking to adjourn.
Kurz did not proceed due to ‘questions regarding the true state’ of Lamaze’s health.
Lamaze’s notice of the motion stated that he had been ‘battling brain cancer for a number of years’, with the disease also allegedly spreading to his throat.
It was said that he was scheduled to undergo further surgery on June 11.
But Jerome Morse, for Iron Horse, cast doubt on the allegation ‘in light of the fact Mr Lamaze made similar claims in early 2019, in the hope of adjourning his discovery.’
Morse revealed that Lamaze took part in events on March 13, 14 and 16 in 2019.
But a private detective hired by Iron Horse Farm in Belgium went to Dr Pirotte who denied signing the document and confirmed it was fraudulent.
Not only that the letter was written in Dutch, with a mistake on the address of the Chirec Delta Hospital, and allegedly signed by neurosurgeon Dr Nordenyn Oulad Ben Taib – despite the doctor only having French, English and Arabic on his list of languages.
Now Danson has resigned from the case representing Lamaze and last week said: ‘Eric is very sick, but maybe not with cancer.’
Lamaze himself continues to insist he does have the disease – but confessed he ‘made a little mistake’.
Asked about evidence stacking up against him, he told The Toronto Star: ‘You’ll never find it because I did have cancer.
‘Was I deceitful here and there to protect some doctors and protect this and that?
‘Of course I was.’
But Justice Hurtz said: ‘Mr Lamaze attempted to perpetrate a fraud on the court by filing three forged letters, which falsely purport to be medical reports regarding Mr Lamaze’s dire medical condition.
‘Mr Morse [Iron House’s lawyer] argues that if that fraud were not sufficiently egregious, Mr Lamaze feigned end-stage cancer, which is an insult to all who have suffered from that dreaded malady.
‘He did so only to avoid a ‘day of reckoning’ in an action that was commenced more than ten years ago but has yet to reach trial.’
Lamaze has been ordered to pay £25,800 to cover the costs to Iron House Farm following the motion to adjourn in July.
He also needs to find a new lawyer by September 29 or else he would lose the case by default.
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