A Brazilian professional cyclist is to sue the manufacturer of a dietary supplement that she blames for her failing a drugs test, leading to her being banned from cycling for two years.
Flavia Oliveira, who formerly rode for the Italian team SC Michaela Fanini, based in Lucca, Tuscany, claims that ALR Industries should have known that its product Hyperdrive 3.0 contained methylsynephrine, which is linked to the banned substance oxilofrine, but failed to mention it on the label.
Oliveira failed a doping control on 19 June 2009 following a stage of the Giro del Trentino Donne in Italy and was subsequently banned for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which dealt with the case due to the 29-year-old being a resident of California.
Last month, the cyclist succeeded in obtaining a reduction in her ban to 18 months from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, although the tribunal said that the period of suspension should run from 30 August 2009, the date she last competed, rather than the date of the failed test, meaning that she can only return to racing from March 1 next year.
According to the website Courthouse News Service, Oliveira claims that she first used products from ALR Industries in 2009 and that her claim states that before doing so, she “researched ALRI supplements, and satisfied herself through her research that ALRI 'Hyperdrive 3.0' did not contain any substances that were banned and/or prohibited from use in professional cycling."
Oliveira maintains that ALRI should have been aware that its product included a banned substance and that it should have provided an appropriate warning on the label. She is seeking compensation from the company for loss of earnings through her suspension and loss of money that she would have earned in competition had she not been banned.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.