DENVER (CN) - Former University of Memphis basketball start Roburt Sallie claims in court that the Spanish Basketball Federation and the Spanish team he played for last year defamed him by claiming he was released for taking ExtenZe, a male enhancement drug.
Sallie sued the Spanish Basketball Federation and Club Basquet Tarragona in Federal Court.
Sallie set Memphis school records in the 2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament, where he hit 10 three-pointers in one game and scored the most three-point field goals ever by a Memphis Tiger in one NCAA tournament.
Sallie intended to join the NBA, but in September 2011, with the season in doubt due to a league contract dispute, he accepted an offer to play for Tarragona.
During the first month of what was expected to be at least a year with the team, Sallie was Tarragona's second leading scorer. But on Nov. 18, 2011, he and another player were given random drug tests, under International Basketball Federation guidelines.
Before the test, Sallie says, he filled out a form in which he listed DayQuil, a cold remedy, and an "unknown pill" as medications he had taken.
He says in his complaint that the unknown pill was an all-natural male enhancement pill that plaintiff had been offered the previous day by a teammate. "Plaintiff did not recall the name of the pill, but was certain it was not ExtenZe," Sallie say in the complaint.
A month later, he says, Tarragona asked him if he had taken ExtenZe.
"ExtenZe is a male enhancement pill that contains dehydroepiandroserone (DHEA), a banned substance in many professional sports, and specifically is banned by the NBA, FED and other professional basketball leagues that are part of the FIBA," the complaint states. "Plaintiff denied taking ExtenZe. In fact, shortly after the drug test he had confirmed that he had taken a different supplement, Black Ant. Black Ant is an all-natural male enhancement pill that does not contain DHEA or other banned substances."
Shortly thereafter, the team and Sallie parted ways, and he returned home to California.
Then, "In February 2012, defendants informed the media that plaintiff's contract with Tarragona was terminated because he had consumed ExtenZe," the complaint states. "Soon after, the false story appeared on multiple websites, accessible throughout the United States and the rest of the world."
Sallie says the story went viral. His complaint lists 27 websites on which it appears.
Sallie insists that at no time did he inform any media outlet or person that he was taking a banned substance, taking ExtenZe, or was cut from the team.
"Plaintiff has never consumed ExtenZe," he says in the complaint. "Moreover, plaintiff secured a letter from Liga Espanola de Baloncesto stating that the doping test from November 18, 2011, did not show that anyone playing for Tarragona had taken any substance beyond the limits of the league's policies."
Sallie punitive damages for slander, libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
His lead counsel is Bradley Levin with Roberts Levin Rosenberg.
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