Professional tennis star Guillermo Coria sues vitamin manufacturer for causing positive steroid test
BOSTON– LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire –A Boston law firm has gone to court today to clear the name of Guillermo Coria, a top-ranked professional athlete who was suspended from the national tennis circuit in 2001 after testing positive for steroids. Coria, the former No. 3 tennis player in the world, is suing a vitamin maker for allowing traces of steroids to contaminate the multivitamin he was taking, causing him to fail a drug test at the height of his career. After failing the test, Coria was suspended from play and lost millions of dollars in sponsorships, appearance fees and prize money. If successful in court, Coria will be the first world-class professional athlete to prove that a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs was caused by product contamination.
The landmark lawsuit, Guillermo Coria vs. Universal Nutrition a/k/a Universal Protein Supplement Corp. and G.E.N. Tech, LLC, accuses New Brunswick, NJ-based Universal Nutrition of negligent manufacturing of its Gaspari Nutrition multivitamin and seeks financial compensation. A jury in the Superior Court of New Jersey begins hearing the case this morning and the trial is expected to last two to three weeks. Coria is represented by Nystrom Beckman & Paris LLP, a litigation firm based in Boston, MA that specializes in complex litigation and trial work.
In February 2001, Coria, a native of Argentina, began taking regular doses of multivitamins manufactured by Universal and distributed by Gaspari. In April of that year, a urine test issued through the Association of Tennis Professionals’ (ATP) Anti-Doping program revealed trace amounts of nandrolone, a known steroid, in Coria’s system. The minute traces were inconsistent with steroid usage and did not have any performance-enhancing effects, but they were enough to generate a positive test result. At the time of the 2001 drug test, Coria was 19 years old, at the top of his game and pegged as the next tennis phenom. The positive test results led to a two-year suspension, removing Coria immediately from the national circuit and denying him key sponsorship monies under his endorsement contracts.
In today’s proceedings, Coria alleges that Universal’s negligent manufacturing practices allowed residue from other products containing steroids to mix with the multivitamins, ultimately causing the failed drug test. In 2001, Coria was able to prove his case to the ATP and his suspension from professional tennis was reduced from two years to time served (seven months). But by that point, Coria had already dropped from the top 30 to No. 200 in the ATP standings.
“Coria’s suspension could not have come at a worse time in his career. He was in his prime teenage years – key to a young star’s development – and breaking into the highest levels of the professional tennis rankings,” said Gavin Forbes, senior vice president of tennis for IMG Worldwide. “Though his original suspension was reduced to seven months, that seven months translates to years of damage in the tennis world.”
“Guillermo not only wants to clear his name, but also wants to ensure that no other athletes experience devastation and career destruction as a result of manufacturing companies’ negligence,” said William C. Nystrom, Esq., the lead attorney on the case. “Though he can never reclaim the time he lost, he can achieve financial compensation and a restored international reputation.”
About Nystrom Beckman & Paris LLP
Based in Boston, MA, Nystrom Beckman & Paris LLP is a boutique litigation firm that specializes in complex litigation and trial work. Founded in 2004 by three experienced attorneys from national law firms, NBP has steadily grown to become a “go-to” firm for major corporations, entrepreneurial companies and individuals. Its team of associates, paralegals and support staff are dedicated to handling matters of any size and complexity, achieving outstanding results and exceeding clients’ expectations.