Sprinter sues Gatorade over ‘recovery gummies’ after ban

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Surinamese sprinter Issamade Asinga sued the Gatorade Company on Wednesday, alleging his recent doping ban was the result of eating contaminated “recovery gummies” that the brand manufactured and provided.

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) handed the 19-year-old Asinga a four-year suspension for a doping violation in May, stripping his two South American Championship gold medals and his under-20 100 metres world record.

In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Asinga said Gatorade provided him the gummies a year ago with packaging that claimed they were “NSF Certified for Sport” and therefore free from banned substances.

The lawsuit said the gummies lacked the certification, and instead “had been made using shoddy manufacturing processes, and were contaminated with trace amounts of an illegal performance-enhancing drug.”

NSF is an independent, Michigan-based non-governmental organization that certifies when products are free from substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

PepsiCo, which owns Gatorade, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Asinga also claims that Gatorade provided a sealed bottle from a different lot of gummies to AIU, “creating the false impression that the testing of this exemplar was relevant to Issam’s case.”

The sprinter has not competed since he was handed a provisional suspension ahead of last year’s World Championships in Budapest and is seeking economic damages for lost income, scholarship opportunities and future earnings.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)


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