Death of NRP officer in 2005 linked to performance enhancing substance
A Niagara Regional Police officer who died in 2005 had high levles of a performance enhacing substance in his body at the time of his death.
The CBC is reporting Constable Daniel Rathonyi suffered a massive heart attack during a rigourous fitness test. He was undergoing the test in an attempt to become a member of the NRP's Emergency Tactical Unit.
The coroner linked the sudden cardiac death to the "toxic effects of ephedrine and caffeine" as well as his intense workout routine. It prompted the coroner to call for tougher drug screening of police. This recommendation was made in 2006, around the same time the ETU was coming under intense scrutiny after allegations members of the unit were buying, using and trafficking steroids.
Rathonyi's widow says her husband was taking diet pills ahead of the fitness test in order to keep his weight down and help his performance during the tryout. She doesn't believe he was on steroids but calls the tryout requirement for the ETU extreme. She's only now releasing the report in the hope that some good can come out of his death.
The NRP never followed the recommendation which is not uncommon as most police forces are against any kind of drug testing of its officers with few, if any, implementing a drug testing policy.
In April, Constable Geoff Purdie was arrested for allegedly travelling back and forth between Fort Erie and Niagara Falls, NY to pick up steroids and other drugs.