Disqualified Olympian Sues Supplement Maker

Discus thrower Robert Fazekas and his coach, Adrian Annus, have filed a lawsuit against a Canadian company that he claims concealed the presence of anabolic steroids in a protein supplement he was taking.

The Hungarian discus thrower, who was barred from last summer’s Olympic Games in London because of a failed drug test, filed the lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Niagara County because the supplement maker, MVP Biotech, has its U.S. distribution address in Niagara Falls, according to attorney Kalman Magyar. The company, however, is based in Kirkland, Quebec. The two are represented in their damage suit by Minryu Kim of Buffalo’s Phillips Lytle law firm and by Magyar, a Toronto attorney.

The thrower and his coach are no strangers to doping controversies and were stripped of gold medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens for doping rule violations. While Fazekas had won the discus competition, Annus had won the hammer throw.

The 37-year-old Fazekas probably missed his last chance at Olympic glory because of the disqualification following a pre-Olympic drug test. Magyar said he believes Fazekas would have won in the Olympics and added he threw a longer throw than the eventual gold medalist in London during training right before the Olympics, which he was not allowed to go to in the end. He went on to add that the discus thrower never tested positive for steroids until he came across MVP’s products.

The Hungarian discus thrower was barred from competitions after the test and served a ban of two years after the 2004 Athens disqualification that came after he was unable to produce enough urine to be tested following the event, which was regarded as a violation of the rules. It was then asserted by the Hungarian Olympic Committee that the thrower was a deeply religious person who tried for hours after his Athens win but was unable to produce a urine sample with people watching him. The assertion didn’t impress an International Olympic Committee disciplinary board that disqualified him.

He then made a comeback and finished eighth in the discus at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then gained the third spot at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona. In the same year, Annus became the coach of Fazekas. Fazekas started taking “Pro Whey,” a protein supplement sold by MVP Biotech in 2012 and a doping test conducted by a Vienna laboratory certified by the World Anti-Doping Agency picked up anabolic steroids in urine of Fazekas. Magyar remarked the level of steroids was “one nanogram per milliliter, the tiniest amount possible.” The lab samples of the supplements he was using, including opened and unopened containers of Pro Whey, were sent and both tested positive for steroids, according to Magyar.

The Hungarian discus thrower ranks fifth in all-time longest discus throw distances with a personal best of 71.70m.

MVP Biotech was accused in the lawsuit of failing to list the steroid in question, called Stanozolol, among Pro Whey’s ingredients. Magyar said Stanozolol is a banned substance and Fazekas would have never taken it if it was listed.

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