Yoel Romero sues alleged tainted supplement maker

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The UFC has arguably the toughest anti-doping testing program in sports history, and has exposed an alarming number of cases of tainted supplements. It was widely believed that some unscrupulous supplement makers would put known PEDs into supplements with labels indicating no prohibited drugs were contained; however, there was little proof.

Now when a fighter has a test flagged, he or she can investigate their supplements and identify potentially problematic ones. USADA then buys the supplement and tests it, sometimes even tracking the pallet. Regularly, tainted supplements are identified. This was allegedly the case with UFC middleweight Yoel Romero, who tested positive for Ibutamoren, and was eventually suspended only for a reduced six months. But in the meantime, he lost a title shot.

The fighter is fighting back, and suing the supplement maker for negligence. Paul Gift has the story for Forbes.

Romero has filed a lawsuit for negligence against Goldstar Performance Products in New Jersey Superior Court. The suit stems from Romero’s 2015 positive drug test for Ibutamoren, described by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as “a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

Romero took the Goldstar nutritional supplement Shred Rx for training purposes after having “reaffirmed the product use with his colleagues, and read the label,” per the complaint.

On December 16, 2015, he provided an out-of-competition urine sample to USADA which ultimately tested positive. At the time, he had just moved up to the #2 contender position in the middleweight division after winning a controversial decision over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza four days prior at UFC 194.

According to the complaint, Romero gave USADA a pill from the bottle of Shred Rx he had been using at the time of the positive test, which was subsequently found to contain Ibutamoren at a concentration of “approximately 5 micrograms per capsule.” USADA then purchased a new, sealed bottle of Shred Rx and its representative capsules were found to contain “approximately 12 micrograms per capsule,” per the complaint.

This ultimately led to the USADA determination that Romero had used a contaminated substance and a reduced, six-month suspension.

In his complaint, Romero alleges that Goldstar carelessly and negligently “failed to maintain the production facility” and “knew” Shred Rx was contaminated with Ibutamoren. His claimed injuries include damage to his reputation and “the loss of the chance at a middleweight UFC title fight.”

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Yoel Romero fights Luke Rockhold for the UFC interim middleweight championship at UFC 221 on February 10 in Perth, Australia.