Oklahoma defensive lineman Amani Bledsoe filed a suit vs. the NCAA in August contesting the suspension he received for testing positive for a banned substance.
Per the Tulsa World, Bledsoe claims the positive test for clomiphene came after he ran out of protein powder and used some from a teammate’s stash. The protein powder his teammate had was allegedly unopened and a different brand than Bledsoe’s.
On Oct. 19, the NCAA notified OU athletic director Joe Castiglione that Bledsoe’s sample contained a banned substance called clomiphene, which is commonly used to treat fertility problems in women but can also be used as a performance-enhancer because of its estrogen-blocking qualities.
The lawsuit states Bledsoe was “shocked” at hearing he tested positive for a banned substance and allowed the NCAA to test the B sample of his urine. On Oct. 28, the NCAA notified OU’s compliance office that the B sample had also tested positive for clomiphene.
Per the World report, a follow-up test of a different container of the same type of protein powder Bledsoe borrowed from his teammate came up negative at an independent laboratory that tested the original protein powder. A previous appeal of his suspension had been denied by the NCAA.
Bledsoe missed the second half of the 2016 season and is currently not eligible to play until Week 6 of 2017.
The NCAA advises athletes to check with staff at their school before taking supplements to ensure the supplements are allowed by the NCAA’s substance-usage rules. It’s also worth noting the Food and Drug Administration does not require supplements to be “proven safe to FDA’s satisfaction” before they are marketed.
Former Florida and now West Virginia quarterback Will Grier tested positive for a banned substance in 2015 and missed the second half of the season before he sat out the 2016 season as a transfer. Grier’s father said at the time of his son’s suspension that it came from an over-the-counter supplement.
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