Swimmer Wins Suit Over Contaminated Supplement

May 16, 2005

1 Min Read
Swimmer Wins Suit Over Contaminated Supplement

SANTA ANA, Calif.--An Orange County Superior Court jury ruled a multivitamin supplement taken by competitive swimmer Kicker Vencill was contaminated with 19-norandrosterone, a substance banned by the International Olympic Committee. Vermeil, who is serving a two-year suspension imposed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency because he failed a drug test after taking the supplement, was awarded damages of $578,635 against the Farmington, Conn.-based supplement manufacturer, Ultimate Nutrition.

Vencill failed the drug test in January 2003 after taking Super Complete, a multivitamin manufactured by Ultimate. Arguing the supplement was contaminated, he appealed the original four-year suspension, which was reduced to a two-year ban from national and international competition--costing him a shot at the 2003 Pan-American Games and the 2004 Olympic Games. Vencill had the supplement analyzed by a lab, which reported the supplement contained the banned material.

Travis Tygart, legal counsel for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, praised the trial outcome but noted Vencill still shoulders some of the blame because he ignored agency warnings about potential dangers of nutritional supplements. The regulations that oversee the nutritional industry and requirements for quality control are minimal, and there is no guarantee that the product contents are as advertised, he told the Associated Press (AP). This is a good decision not just for athletes but for consumers. It hopefully will hold companies accountable to ensure that their products contain what they say they contain.

Vencill is near the end of his suspension and will soon recommence competition without the use of supplements. Who would think a multivitamin is contaminated? But it was, and we proved it, Vencill told AP. You cant always be sure what youre buying. To me, its not worth it.

Ultimate Nutrition did not respond to INSIDER's requests for comment.

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