Olympian Loses Lawsuit Against H-E-B Supplement Over Failed Drug Test

Jacqueline Galloway Loses Lawsuit
Jackie Galloway is the first member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic taekwondo team | Image by Getty Images

Olympic medalist Jacqueline Galloway lost a $1 million lawsuit against H-E-B and Nexgen Pharm. A jury returned the verdict after deliberating for 90 minutes on May 26.

Galloway earned a bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics, but a failed random drug test in 2019 KO’ed her career.

Galloway filed the lawsuit soon after, claiming it was a supplement she bought from the grocery store that contained the substance banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The ingredient in question was Ibutamoren, a substance that stimulates growth hormone production. It has not been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Still, bodybuilders and other athletes have experimented with it to build muscle mass, enhance recovery, and improve sleep quality.

Since Ibutamoren has not been approved for human use, it is difficult for anyone to get. Still, Galloway said the bottle of H-E-B multivitamins that she was consuming must have contained the substance.

The label listed Magnesium, Calcium, and Zinc as active ingredients. Ibutamoren is not listed as an ingredient.

Reportedly, attorneys for supplement manufacturer Nexgen and H-E-B said all industry standards were closely followed in creating, distributing, and marketing the supplement. They claimed the product is sold in a tamper-proof bottle, and the only way it could contain an ingredient like Ibutamoren is if the supplement was contaminated after purchase.

Nexgen’s lawyer, Russell Schell, explained to the jury that several bottles from the lot Galloway purchased were tested for Ibutamoren, and no trace was found.

Schell noted that when Galloway’s bottle was tested, Ibutamoren was found on the surface of four pills.

“Am I saying Ms. Galloway did it? I’m saying nothing of the sort,” H-E-B attorney Harold J. Lotz told the jury. He asserted evidence presented during the trial would show that “other people have had access to this bottle.”

Galloway has been prohibited from competing since she failed her drug test in 2019. Sports economist Victor Matheson testified that Galloway has lost out on at least $270,000 to $363,000 in earning potential because of the scandal.

Galloway told jurors that she was on her way to earning an engineering degree, but the public knowledge of her failed drug test could keep her from getting certifications down the road.

Her father also testified that the drug test results caused her to fall into a depression that he still sees in her today.

Lawyers for the grocery chain and supplement manufacturer said Galloway may have unknowingly taken the substance. They suggested that someone else might have contaminated the bottle but maintained they played no role in the contamination of the pills.

The jury determined that H.E.B and Nexgen Pharma did not engage in false, misleading, or deceptive practices.

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