A mixed martial arts fighter suspended after a positive drugs test is suing multiple sports supplement companies for adulterating multivitamins with prohibited performance-enhancing drugs.
Lyman Good, an American welterweight Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, claims he never took the prohibited performance-enhancing drug 1-androstenedione despite a positive drug test for the substance in 2016. Both Good and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) both claim the positive test was a result of supplements adulterated with the banned substance.
The fighter has filed two lawsuits – one against Gaspari Nutrition, Richard Gaspari, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Jared Wheat and Vitamin Shoppe; and one against Millennium Sport Technologies and Matthew Masuda – alleging the companies intentionally adulterated the supplements to enhance performance results for the intention of increasing sales and profits.
He is suing for breach of express warranty (or sales contract), deceptive acts and practices, false advertising, and assault and battery. He is seeking an injunction to stop the manufacturers from continuing the behaviour and is seeking unspecified damages.
The legal cases follow an out-of-competition drug test in October last year, which tested positive for the prohibited anabolic steroid 1-androstenedione. The findings led to Good being pulled from a large fight in November and slapped with a provisional suspension from the sport.
Doping with androstenedione generally carries a two-year suspension under USADA and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules.
But in April, Good accepted a reduced sanction of a retroactive six-month suspicion after the USADA investigated the drug test and concluded the fighter had likely ingested the banned agent from contaminated supplements that tested positive for the substance but did not list it as an ingredient on the label.
The products in question were Gaspari Nutrition’s product Anavite – described as a three-supplements-in-one athletes’ high-potency multivitamin/mineral formula that has been clinically validated – and Millennium Sport Technologies’ Cordygen-VO2 ULTRA, a herbal endurance-enhancing supplement containing a blend of three adaptogens that stabilise physiological processes and promote homeostasis.
Gaspari Nutrition, which is now co-owned by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals’ owner Jared Wheat, was previously sued by supplement company ThermoLife in 2012 for allegedly including steroids in “dietary supplements”, according to MMAFighting.com.
“Defendants initiated and have continued this fraudulent scheme of adulteration and steroid distribution despite prior and ongoing lawsuits against them for similar conduct, as they appear to believe that this scheme is still profitable,” court documents allege. “For this reason, Plaintiff seeks injunctions and punitive damages to punish and deter the repeated, unlawful behaviour of defendants.”
Good is also suing Vitamin Shoppe, where he purchased the multivitamin, for its knowing role in facilitating the illicit activity. “[The company] knows that adulteration pervades dietary supplements and consciously disregards the adulteration of Anavite, yet distributes and delivers Anavite to trusting customers”, the court documents say.
Meanwhile, Millennium Sport Technologies make advertising claims that its products do not contain “banned substances”. The court documents say: “These representations are false or misleading because Cordygen-VO2 ULTRA contains 1-androstenedione, which is not disclosed on the label and is prohibited for use by certain mixed martial arts athletes.”
The fighter has previously claimed his reputation and career has been damaged by the fraudulent activity and has denied intentional doping, vowing that he would clear his name. “I’d never cheat the journey of hard work and more importantly I’d never cheat myself,” he told MMAFighting.com. “The integrity of my name is something that I’ve worked too hard just to have it questioned because of whatever the [expletive] they’re saying is in my system.”
Meanwhile, in Singapore, authorities have issued a warning over three bodybuilding supplements – Enhanced Athlete Cardarine, Enhanced Athlete Ligandrol and Enhanced Athlete Mutant YK-11 sold by Enhanced Athlete Singapore – saying they contain chemicals that have not been approved for medical use and can cause serious harm, including cancer.