Posted 10 July 2017
This is a real disgusting story, if the reporter is correct.
Demarte “The Wolf” Pena was suspended for using steroids, resulting in him being dumped by the sport supplement company (Biogen) for which he worked as brand ambassador. It turns out that he tested positive from steroids present in a Biogen product which he was using. In addition, there have been a number of ASA rulings against unsubstantiated claims being made for product, which Biogen continues to do in spite of the rulings.
“Biogen marketing manager Brandon Fairweather said Testoforte was not part of the company’s sport supplement range and that it was “not unusual” for products containing complex botanical materials, especially those designed to support healthy testosterone, to give rise to “a trace finding of steroidal precursors”.”
If this was true, then the product automatically becomes a Schedule 5 Category A drug!
Biogen, stop spinning and treating consumers as pawns!
Fighter faces tough bout against supplement maker
By Khanyi Ndabeni Sunday Times 9 July 2017
Sport supplement proved downfall of top fighter
Days after mixed martial arts champion Demarte “The Wolf” Pena was suspended for using steroids, he was dumped by the sport supplement company for which he worked as brand ambassador.
However, independent tests confirmed the banned ingredients were contained in a supplement made by Biogen, the same company that had cut him loose after he failed his drug test He had been assured the product was safe and contained no banned substances.
When Demarte “The Wolf” Pena tested positive for steroids, his world fell apart. The Angolan mixed martial arts champion was suspended from competing professionally in February and stripped of his Extreme Fighting Championship Africa bantamweight title.
He had to pay back R120 000 in winnings from the fight four months earlier that resulted in the positive urine tests.
Pena was humiliated, but also mystified as to where the traces of testosterone and adiols in his urine – both prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency – had come from.
He paid for lab tests that revealed the offending substances came from his Biogen Testoforte supplement, which claims to improve energy and performance.
Not only did the supplement’s packaging fail to list the substances, but Pena was an ambassador for the brand and claims he had been assured by the company that its products were safe to use. To add insult to injury, Biogen dumped Pena as ambassador days after he was provisionally suspended.
Last month the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport panel lifted his provisional suspension after it found he had not intentionally violated the rules.
The sports supplement company has since put advisory notes on shop shelves stocking Testoforte, warning that “herbal blends by nature” can result in doping violations. “Pro and competing athletes should exercise caution when using any product containing herbal ingredients,” it says.
But it came too late for Pena, whose lawyer, Estee Maman, said this week he had lost more than R250000 in earnings and sponsorship.
“This figure doesn’t include the legal fees and some of the future sponsorships,” she said.
“Sponsorships are the athlete’s bread and butter. Because he is now associated with doping, no other company will want to sponsor him.”
Pena, 29, told the Sunday Times he and his family had suffered financially.
“My image is tarnished. People are calling me a cheater. In all my years in sport I have never cheated and have always been cautious of everything I eat, drink or put in my body.
“At this stage, I am not planning any law suit, but I need Biogen to compensate me for all that I have lost. I am a victim of a contaminated, approved sport supplement.”
Biogen marketing manager Brandon Fairweather said Testoforte was not part of the company’s sport supplement range and that it was “not unusual” for products containing complex botanical materials, especially those designed to support healthy testosterone, to give rise to “a trace finding of steroidal precursors”.
Fairweather said that while Biogen had not seen the results of the tests Pena had commissioned, it had sent the product for analysis to an independent laboratory “as a precautionary measure”.
Khalid Galant, CEO of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, said Pena had proved to the tribunal panel that he had conducted a thorough due diligence on his supplements use. “Supplement companies operate in a legal grey zone between medicine and fortified foods” he said.
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