The deputy director of the Ontario Racing Commission has issued a ruling suspending the licence of driver/trainer/tradesperson Alain Lamontagne, of Hamilton
, Ont., pending the outcome of charges laid by the Ontario Provincial Police.
Lamontagne was charged earlier this week with illegally supplying drugs and medications to the horse racing industry.
He was released on a Promise to Appear with conditions including he not attend at facilities where racehorses are stabled, except for his place of work. Lamontagne is scheduled to appear in court in Hamilton June 8, 2011.
Members of the ORC’s Investigations Unit – who are seconded from the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau – were supported in the arrest by members of the Burlington OPP, Hamilton Police Service, and the Agriculture Investigations Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. During the execution of search warrants, police seized regulated equine drugs and substances, equine drug manufacturing equipment, computer equipment, and documents in connection with the investigation.
The ORC will be conducting its own investigation into Lamontagne’s activities in the racing industry. Anyone with information on these activities is asked to contact the ORC Investigations Unit - 416 213-0520.
ORC Deputy Director Rob McKinney said this suspension reflects the serious nature of the charges of being an illegal supplier of drugs to the horse racing industry. “The integrity and fairness of our sport and especially the health of the horse are responsibilities shared by all participants in racing. That is why medication control is so important.”
Medication control means only using medications or products that have a therapeutic value to the horse and that are properly labelled. As well, it means only using prescription medications or products that have been prescribed by a licensed veterinarian.
“Any and all illegal conduct hurts the entire racing community. Anyone aware of such activity also has the option to contact Crime Stoppers,” said McKinney. Crime Stoppers is a not-for-profit community-based charitable program involving the co-operative efforts of the community, the media and the police in the fight against crime.
The caller’s anonymity is protected, and they will never be asked to testify or be named. Cash rewards are offered to people who call the program and their information assists in an investigation. Call 1-800-222-TIPS.