Banned Olympian Blames Diet Supplements

     VENTURA, Calif. (CN) – An Olympian who was ejected from the 2014 games for doping blames it on major diet supplement makers whose drugs were contaminated with methylhexaneamine, a banned substance.
     William Frullani, a brakeman on Italy’s four-man bobsledding team, was ejected from the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and suspended from competition for seven months when he tested positive for methylhexaneamine.
     Used as a nasal decongestant since 1944, Eli Lilly voluntarily withdrew the drug from the market in 1983. Diet supplement makers reintroduced it in or around 2006 as an energy booster, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calls it dangerous, and says five deaths have been reported in association with diet supplements containing it.
     Frullani sued San Nutrition Corp., Watson Industries and Bodybuilding.com on Monday in Superior Court, saying he believed their claims that their “Testo Hardcore” drug would “promote healthy testosterone levels” and “increase athletic and sexual performance.”
     He claims the defendants did not list methylhexaneamine as an ingredient, though an Italian laboratory – and prosecutor – found that the drugs did contain it.
     Frullani won national championships in the decathlon, heptathlon, and the Italian two-man bobsled championship in 2013. He claims that he lost grants, sponsorships and endorsements after he was banned. He works as a carabiniere, an Italian police officer, and lives in Florence.
     He seeks punitive damages for negligence, strict liability, breach of implied warranty, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair competition.
     He is represented by Howard Jacobs of Westlake Village.
     Diet supplements are loosely regulated by a complaisant Congress.

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