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Supplemental information on doped swimmer case

Jessica Hardy prior to the Olympics. A few words from the Texas-based nutritional supplement maker, AdvoCare, at the center of the Jessica Hardy case, in the form of this press release contesting the findings of the arbitration hearing that reduced her doping suspension from two years to one.

(For the details of the arbitration panel's action, please read my blog posted yesterday. You will notice it puts the word "allegedly'' before "contaminated'' in reference to the AdvoCare supplement central to the case, since the issue of contamination also is central to lawsuits each party -- Hardy and AdvoCare -- has brought against the other. Hardy had been a paid endorser for AdvoCare.)

The AdvoCare statement:

AdvoCare Disputes Findings of Hardy Arbitration Panel

On May 4, 2009, the arbitration panel presiding over Jessica Hardy’s appeal of her suspension reduced Ms. Hardy’s suspension to one year, finding that Ms. Hardy met her burden of proof in showing that an AdvoCare supplement she consumed was contaminated with a slight trace of clenbuterol, a banned substance.
The arbitration panel’s finding is in direct conflict with testing conducted by two independent laboratories, both of which found no evidence that clenbuterol was present in the AdvoCare supplements consumed by Ms. Hardy.

Every single raw material used in the specific lots consumed by Ms. Hardy also tested negative (Not Detected) for clenbuterol. NSF International, an independent laboratory licensed to test for controlled substances, certified these test results. The results were also certified by HFL Sports Science, a leader in nutritional supplement testing with a WADA-experienced laboratory that adheres to ISO 17025 standards for sports supplements and has analyzed more samples for banned substances than any other lab in the world.
Moreover, the arbitration panel’s finding that Ms. Hardy had met her burden of proof in showing supplement contamination was based solely upon information presented by Ms. Hardy and her legal team. AdvoCare was not permitted to participate in the arbitration proceeding. AdvoCare was not allowed to question witnesses or present any evidence to the arbitration panel. The arbitration panel also denied AdvoCare’s requests to attend the hearing and have the proceedings transcribed by a court reporter.

For these reasons, AdvoCare believes that the arbitration was severely flawed and the panel’s finding regarding the purity of AdvoCare’s products is not supported by the facts or evidence. As noted previously, AdvoCare has instituted a lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas against Ms. Hardy in which AdvoCare is seeking a judicial determination that the AdvoCare products consumed by Ms. Hardy did not contain clenbuterol. AdvoCare believes that after consideration of evidence presented by both AdvoCare and Ms. Hardy that it will prevail in the lawsuit.

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: Jessica Hardy prior to the Olympics. Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

 
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