DALLAS (CN) – After swimmer Jessica Hardy was barred from the Beijing Olympics for testing positive for clenbuterol, Hardy, her coach and attorney falsely claimed that an AdvoCare International product was responsible for the presence of the steroid, AdvoCare claims in Federal Court.
AdvoCare sued only Hardy, who qualified for the Olympics in four events and formerly endorsed AdvoCare products.
Clenbuterol is prescribed for asthma. It increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and stimulates the nervous system. Its use is banned for Olympic athletes. Hardy has denied knowingly taking any products that contain clenbuterol.
“AdvoCare is a direct-sales company that sells sports performance and weight-management products under its own name,” the complaint states. It adds: “AdvoCare does not sell any products that contain clenbuterol.”
AdvoCare says Hardy signed an endorsement agreement with it in January 2008.
After the Olympic brouhaha, and the alleged allegations from the coach and attorney, AdvoCare says, it spent $60,000 to have it products tested by NSF International, “an accredited, nonprofit testing facility.” AdvoCare says it presented the results to Hardy and to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
It adds, “AdvoCare specifically tested the lots of AdvoCare products provided to Hardy prior to her positive test for clenbuterol.”
“In December 2008, AdvoCare became aware that Jessica Hardy is now contending that at least once of the AdvoCare products she consumed, Arginine Extreme, was contaminated with clenbuterol. Further, AdvoCare reasonably believes that Hardy or her agents, in an attempt to restore her credibility and regain eligibility to compete in athletic events, has or will publicly allege that the AdvoCare products she consumed were contaminated with clenbuterol despite the results of the testing conducted by NSF International.”
It claims these allegations will and already have damaged its reputation and its relationships with approximately 100 professional and amateur athletes.
AdvoCare demands damages for commercial disparagement. It is represented by C. Brento Kugler with Scheef & Stone.