US-licenced rider Oliveira to sue supplement company she says caused her positive test
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

US-licenced rider Oliveira to sue supplement company she says caused her positive test

by Shane Stokes at 3:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Claims banned ingredient was introduced to product line before ingredients list was updated

Flavia OliveiraHaving incurred an eighteen month suspension but being deemed as not having intentionally taking a doping substance, the US-licenced rider Flavia Oliveira has launched a legal case against the company which supplied the supplement allegedly causing her positive test.

The 29 year old Brazilian tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine on June 19th 2009, following the second stage of the Giro del Trentino Donne in Italy. She had been using a supplement called Hyperdrive 3.0, and it is believed that this caused the problem.

A statement issued by her lawyers Howard L. Jacobs and Dan Fleck set out the case as they see it. “Following her positive drug test, Ms. Oliveira had the Hyperdrive 3.0 product tested by an independent laboratory, which confirmed that the product contained methylsynephrine. Methylsynephrine is a substance with a similar structure to oxilofrine, and would cause a positive drug test for oxilofrine.

“The bottle of Hyperdrive 3.0 that Ms. Oliveira had purchased did not disclose on the label that it contained either oxilofrine or methylsynephrine. At some point after Flavia Oliveira purchased Hyperdrive 3.0, methylsynephrine was added to the label as a disclosed ingredient.”

The California resident has filed suit against ALR Industries in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, on the basis that she states that the product in question was either contaminated or mislabelled. She said being labelled a cheat has been a very painful experience for her.

Oliveira was originally handed a two year ban last April by USADA. It found that while she didn’t knowingly take a banned substance, she was at ‘significant fault’ for using a weight-loss supplement which had substance listed by its chemical name in the ingredients.

Earlier this month it was announced that Oliviera’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport had succeeded in shortening her ban to 18 months. However CAS ruled that the start date for the suspension should change from the original date of June 19th 2009, when she gave the sample, to her most recent day of competition on August 30th.

She is now permitted to resume racing on March 1, making it an effective reduction of three months and 19 days. The former SC Michela Fanini rider has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and after June 19th, 2009.

She will consequently lose out on what had been the best results of her career thus far, namely ninth on a stage of last year’s Giro d’Italia Donne, plus fifth on a stage and ninth overall in the 2009 Route de France.

She says the shame which came with the positive test was the worst penalty. “Testing positive and being suspended from cycling was one of the most painful experiences in my life,” she said. “The pain of being labelled a drug cheat and not being able to clear my name has been devastating and something I would not wish upon my worst enemy. It is my hope that with this lawsuit, I can finally put this event behind me.”

It is not known how long the process will take. ALR Industries is based in Las Vegas and run by a body builder. Its stock includes products named Poison, Comatose and the aforementioned Hyperdrive 3.0. Its website doesn’t warn athletes that its products could cause positive tests.

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