"AdvoCare International is disputing an arbitration panel's finding that a contaminated AdvoCare dietary supplement caused swimmer Jessica Hardy to test positive for a banned performance enhancing substance.
With its decision Monday, the panel shortened Hardy's competition ban to one year, from two.
Carrollton-based AdvoCare said Tuesday in a statement that the panel's finding "is in direct conflict" with "independent" testing that showed Hardy's supplements to be free of contaminants. Also, the company said, the arbitration process was "severely flawed," in part because AdvoCare was not allowed to participate or even attend.
Howard Jacobs, Hardy's attorney, said in a statement that the arbitrators were correct in not allowing AdvoCare into the process and that the scientific evidence presented by his client at the hearing "was fully vetted through vigorous cross-examination."
According to a copy of the arbitration panel's report posted on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's Web site, "miniscule quantities" of clenbuterol, a banned substance, were found in one of the AdvoCare supplements, Arginine Extreme. Supplements from the same lots Hardy used were tested at the swimmer's request. "
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