Lab tests revealed a weight-loss supplement at the center of an NFL drug probe contained a prescription diuretic and a shipment of the product has been recalled, a lawyer for the company told USA TODAY on Tuesday.
Marc Ullman, the attorney for Balanced Health Products, said a sample taken from a bottle of Nikki Haskell's StarCaps tested positive for Bumetanide — a drug commonly given to heart disease patients to reduce fluid retention — and the company recalled a shipment of nearly 2,000 bottles from health food stores.
Balanced Health Products halted shipments of the product last month in response to the claim by several NFL players that their positive tests for Bumetanide, which is on the league's banned list because such drugs can mask steroids.
New Orleans Saints Jamar Nesbit's attorney says Starcaps should issue a big old apology (and some cash) to the players nailed with bumetanide, illegal in the NFL because it could mask steroid use.
"I think they should now offer up an apology for those players who have tested positive and then dig into their pockets to pay up for the damage they have done," Brian Molloy, the lawyer for New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Jamar Nesbit.
Nesbit filed a lawsuit in October against Balanced Health Products after he served a four-game suspension for testing positive for Bumetanide. The Associated Press, citing a person close to the case, reported that up to eight players tested positive for the diuretic, including Saints running back Deuce McAllister.
Most of the players have filed appeals, although such challenges haven't proved successful. The NFL only approves certain supplements through a partnership with EAS and tells players they can use other products at their own risk.
Several NFL players face the judge and jury this week over the Starcaps/bumetanide flap. One expert says the players should only blame themselves:
That these guys who are paid all this money, who are paid millions of dollars to stay in shape, who have the best workout facilities available to them probably in the country, who have the best information about what to put in their bodies, about nutrition, who can hire their own chefs, have to resort to something like this that has to be just to lose weight to make weight, so you don’t get fined.
Then you go up and right after you make weight and you put it right back on by eating and drinking whatever you want. Most of these guys, with the exception of Deuce, that I have seen listed are all lineman. Guys like Grady Jackson, who has been hopelessly obese and fat his entire career, including here; this is a shortcut for these guys.
And I can’t understand why you would resort to that way. You wouldn’t have enough self discipline to stay in shape and not risk something like this. You risk losing four game checks, risk losing your teammate’s respect and your opportunity to put them in the playoffs, which might happen with the Saints.
Obviously these guys are lectured by the team, probably lectured by the NFL. I’m sure it’s no secret as to what you can or cannot put in your body. Why with all that knowledge, all that money, all these facilities would you take such a shortcut and do something like this?