(CN) - A Canadian trainer of Olympic athletes claims in court that a Florida-based nutrition company destroyed his reputation by selling him supplements that contained an undisclosed performance-enhancing drug.
The complaint filed by Christopher Xuereb in the Clay County, Fla. Circuit Court, stems from an international doping scandal that erupted in June 2013.
It was then that Asafa Powell, a former 100-metre record holder, and Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medalist, tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine during a Jamaican championship meet.
Both sprinters claimed they knowingly did nothing wrong, and placed the blame squarely on Xuereb, whom they had only just recently hired for massage and nutritional therapy.
Shortly thereafter, the athletes and Xuereb were placed under a criminal investigation in Italy for violating that country's doping laws.
The sprinters were in Italy for a competition, and the move came after a raid on the trio's hotel rooms following the revelation of their positive drug tests.
Italian authorities said at the time the raids were carried out after they received a tip from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The two sprinters missed the 2013 world championships in Russia as a result.
Since then, Xuereb, whose client list has dried up, has consistently maintained he did nothing wrong.
Instead, the Jan. 8. complaint says, the fault for the scandal lies will defendant Live Well Marketing, which does business as Dynamic Life Nutrition.
Xuereb claims Dynamic Life Nutrition gave him a supplement called Epiphany D1, which purports to increase memory and focus while decreasing stress, in exchange for his endorsement.
Xuereb acknowledges giving the supplement to several of his clients in 2013, but insists he was dumfounded when, month later, his athletes began testing positive for oxilofrine, an amphetamine-like substance that the sports world classifies as a performance-enhancing drug.
The trainer says when contacted Dynamic Life Nutrition, the complaint states, the company denied Epiphany D1 contained the banned substance.
However, a later independent lab test showed the supplement contained oxilofrine instead of the listed plant ingredient, Acacia Rigidula, the complaint says.
The athletes who took the supplement were suspended.
"The suspension of his athletes for a substance which they had innocently taken at his request, caused the Olympic community to accuse [Xuereb] of purposely doping his athletes," the complaint says. "[Xuereb] had a reputation in the close knit community of Olympic athletes which led to the majority of his business empire. After the athletes under his supervision tested positive for a banned substance contained in a supplement he recommended, he suffered a severe blow to that reputation."
A representative of Dynamic Life Nutrition declined comment.
The Middleburg, Florida-based company makes its own products, according to its website.
"They are a manufacture and a distributor," said Howard Marks, the Orlando-based attorney for Xuereb. "They should know what's in their product."
Powell and Simpson also took Dynamic Life Nutrition to court, initially seeking $8 million in damages. The parties reached a confidential settlement of the lawsuit in Sept. 2015.
On Xuereb's Twitter account, he claims to be asking for $2.5 million. His attorney said there isn't a definite monetary amount yet but pointed to Xuereb's loss of business.
"He lost several contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars," Marks said.
Xuereb sued the company alleging fraud, negligence, breach of warranty and a violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.