Sponsors and athletes go a long way in making promotions-whether it is promoting oneself or a product. However if the company is linked to making banned substances then it definitely is damaging for the particular athlete also.
The new UFC Bantamweight champion Holly Holm endorses a company that reportedly makes and sells drugs banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The news came to light when Intel Pharma congratulated Holm on the home page of their website. It reads: “Congratulations. We always believed!” accompanied by a picture of Holm.
JAK Nutrition — a vendor of Intel-Pharma and other Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS) – soon followed suit and made a congratulatory post on their Facebook page saying, “Congrats to Holly Holm and Team Intel-Pharma!! Check out our full line of Intel-Pharma products!!”
As reported by USA Today, Intel Pharma makes or atleast made up until earlier this year products that have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). SARMS, made and sold by Intel-Pharma, are known steroid replacements and listed in the S1. section 2 portion of the 2015 prohibited substances list as anabolic agents. Intel Pharma vendor JAK Nutrition, which has also publicly congratulated Holm and urged consumers to purchase their Intel-Pharma products call themselves the “SARMS Superstore.”
When USA Today contacted Landon Suggs, the CEO of Intel Pharma he said that the “company stopped producing and selling the SARMs products no later than June — before the company started sponsoring Holm — and has issued a recall for such products.”
Holm’s manager Lenny Fresquez didn’t help ease matters either. He said, “The first question I asked [Intel Pharma] was how many of these products were banned, and they were up front about it.”
“Holly didn’t really use them so it’s not a big deal.”
“I’m sure she didn’t use any of them. She might have taken a picture with one.”
“My job is to get whatever the best thing is for Holly.”
“Now that you’ve raised this concern we’ll definitely take that into consideration more carefully in going forward.”
However, Fresquez seems to forget that there is a big difference between “not using them” and “might have taken a picture with one”.
According to Don Catlin, a medical doctor and anti-doping advocate steroids were also found in the supplement company Gaspari in 2005, the same company Ronda Rousey was sponsored by from 2012 to 2014.