Madisyn Cox, a world-class competitive swimmer and former member of the U.S. National Swim Team, has filed a lawsuit against an affiliate of the well-known Dallas-based Cooper Clinic for negligently producing and selling its Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin, which was subsequently found to contain a banned substance.
In March of 2018, Ms. Cox was initially slapped with a two-year suspension from competition by FINA, the global sanctioning body for swimming and diving, after routine blood and urine tests found trace amounts of trimetazidine in her system. The substance is used as a heart medication outside of the U.S. but is not approved for sale in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration.
Although her suspension was reduced when the source of the banned drug was identified, and Ms. Cox was cleared to resume competing in September 2018, she still faces significant reputational, financial and emotional consequences. Ms. Cox was forced to miss several major events and to return fees, grants and prizes from the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming, and was unable to pursue lucrative corporate sponsorships.
In addition to that lost income, Ms. Cox and her family incurred considerable expense in hiring several medical and legal experts to seek the source of the banned substance and a complete revocation of her suspension.
Testing by a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory last summer found that both a sealed bottle of the Cooper Complete vitamin Ms. Cox had purchased, and the unsealed bottle of the Cooper Complete vitamin Ms. Cox was taking at the time of her positive test, contained trimetazidine. Ms. Cox had taken the multivitamin to correct low levels of iron in her blood, never suspecting it could contain a banned substance.
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