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Banned cyclist sues supplement manufacturer

Company should have been aware that product contained prohibited substance, says rider

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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simonmb | 13 years ago

Do you think there's a butcher's shop somewhere in Spain trembling whilst waiting for a call from Contador? Seriously though, I think the manufacturer must share the responsibility in Flavia's case.

teamrocket13 | 13 years ago

Surely as a pro athlete the contents of any supplement should be looked into before taking it.

Simon_MacMichael replied to teamrocket13 | 13 years ago

That's the essence of her claim though - she did do the research, and she says that it was only after she tested positive that it was discovered that the product contained the banned substance.

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