There was a time in the early 2010’s when “The Ultimate Sports Spray” was the hottest elixir on the market. The product promised increased energy levels and quicker recovery times from exercising. All without the fear that one was ingesting one of many banned substances.
“The Ultimate Sports Spray” is a deer antler velvet supplement manufactured by SWATS Edge Performance Chips, LLC (SWATS) and distributed by Nutronics Labs, a Nevada based corporation that specializes in deer antler velvet. Deer antler velvet is rich in insulin-growth factor (IGF-1). See video below for more information on IGF-1.
It was the best alternative to steroids, bar none.
Professional athletes, from football players and baseball players to golfers, swore by this product, and the results showed. We’re talking Super Bowl Champions, like Ray Lewis; Hall of Famers, like Brett Favre; PGA champions, like Vijay Singh; even actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger swore by the stuff.
That is until the Major League Players Association (MLBPA) threw a wrench in the works.
Nutronics Labs and SWATS v. MLBPA
In the suspiciously concealed complaint, filed for the record in Miami Dade County on October 31, 2012 and obtained by WTTS, Nutronics Labs and SWATS each accused MLBPA of “libel per se” and “intentional interference with contractual and economic relations.”
The complaint details how during 2009, Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Peña was contacted by SWATS owner Mitch Ross who provided Peña with samples of “The Ultimate Sports Spray.” Ross also provided two samples of “The Ultimate Sports Spray” to MLBPA assistant general counsel Bob Lenaghan for approval.
According to the complaint, on September 2009, Mr. Lenaghan cleared Carlos Peña, and thus all MLB players, to use of “The Ultimate Sports Spray.” Peña continued to use the spray “for regular use and endorsement” until the end of the 2010 MLB season.
Then, on July 29, 2011 the MLBPA promptly pumped the breaks. Mr. Lenaghan sent out a letter (below) advising players to cease using “The Ultimate Spray” because it was contaminated with “methyltestosterone,” an MLB banned substance (see #41 on the list).In response to Mr. Lenaghan’s letter, Nutronics Labs CEO, Dr. Rick Lentini, Phd. wrote to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, emphatically stating, “Our products do not contain any methyltestosterone and are steroid free, and the tests will show this to be true.”
Dr. Lentini went so far as to request that the MLBA submit an application to NSF International to test Nutronics Labs deer antler velvet supplement. According to their website, NSF International “independently tests, audits, certifies, trains and consults for the food, water, health science, sustainability and consumer product sectors.” MLBPA failed to respond to Dr. Lentini’s request, so he decided to send a sample of Nutronics Labs deer antler velvet supplement for testing to a reputable, independent laboratory company called Aegis Sciences Corporation (Aegis).
Aegis did not detect any steroid contaminants in Nutronics Labs deer antler velvet supplement. See reports HERE!
The damage was already done.
As a result of Mr. Lenaghan’s letter, according to the complaint, Nutronics Labs and SWATS experienced a decrease in sales, endorsements, and the loss of faith and goodwill with their current and potential customers.
“We dropped the charges,” Dr. Lentini told WTTS.
That’s right, even though the facts supported Nutronics Labs and SWATS claims, the charges were dropped. “They have enough money to drag this out, it’s not fair,” Dr. Lentini continued.
He’s right. Despite the fact that the record shows that deer antler velvet does not contain methyltestosterone, athletes are still banned from using the substance.
“Our books are open,” Dr. Lentini said told WTTS, “we didn’t want money from them. All we wanted from them was a retraction.”
That retraction never came.
The story doesn’t end there, though.
“The Ultimate Sports Spray” would later come under scrutiny again for an entirely different reason. This time? The elusive IGF-1.
Part Two of this piece will drop next Sunday. Docu-Pods to follow.
Follow us to get the follow-up to this piece when it drops.
Having grown up in Washington Heights, a small Dominican neighborhood just one mile away from Yankee Stadium, Manny is a life-long Yankees fan. He began pursuing his passion for writing about baseball in March 2018 when he co-founded a small baseball media company called Welcome to THE SHOW. Manny is also a contributor at Call to the Pen. Follow Manny on twitter @MannyGo3.