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Lawsuits Filed Against Andro Makers

TAMPA, Fla.--Attorneys here and in five other states late last week filed suit against several manufacturers alleging they falsely marketed androstenedione (andro) as an alternative to anabolic steroids. It was reported by CNN (www.cnn.com) that lawsuits have been filed in circuit courts in California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and that a seventh suit was expected to be filed in Illinois. The attorneys are seeking class-action status for the lawsuits.

Vincent Lynch, plaintiffs' co-counsel, told CNN that the companies are in a difficult situation. "We believe the makers and sellers of andro are caught in a Catch-22," he told CNN. "If andro works, they are criminally liable, and if andro doesn't work, they are liable for civil damages." CNN's report also noted that "it is not illegal to sell androstenedione, and it is considered a dietary supplement, which the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate."

The companies named in some or all of the suits are: AST Sport Science, Basic Research Ltd., Bodyonics Ltd., Cytodyne Technologies Inc., General Nutrition Co., Genetic Evolutionary Nutrition LLC, Impact Nutrition Inc., Kaizen Inc., Mass Quantities, Met-Rx USA, Muscletech Inc., Muscletech Research & Development, Natrol, Natural Supplement Association Inc., Nutraceutics Corp., Twin Laboratories, Vital Pharmaceuticals, Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Vitamin World and Weider Nutrition International.

At press time, calls to several manufacturers and industry associations for comment about the allegations had not been returned. However, Shane Freedman, general counsel for Cytodyne Technologies, did return INSIDER's call, noting the company has not seen a copy of any complaint and "no longer makes any product with andro, though our decision to discontinue the product was unrelated to any legal action."

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