Fri, Jun 22, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Coria settles suit over steroid ban with vitamin firm


Guillermo Coria on Wednesday settled his lawsuit against a US vitamin maker he blamed for a positive doping test and costing him millions in earnings.

Terms between Coria and Universal Nutrition, which had denied the Argentine tennis player's claims that their nutritional supplements were tainted by a steroid and thus caused his positive test, were not disclosed.

The deal came as the 25-year-old Coria was to testify on the second day of the trial.

Coria had charged that a contaminated multivitamin not only kept him from competing for seven months in 2001 and 2002, but besmirched his reputation and cost him at least US$10 million in prize money, bonuses, appearance fees and endorsements.

Richard Grossman, a lawyer for Universal in central New Jersey, on Tuesday said the company was not to blame for any contamination.

Coria, once ranked No. 3 by the ATP, did not speak to reporters as he left the courtroom, and lawyers for him and the company declined to give any details on the deal.

The deal was announced by New Jersey state Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz after about five hours of closed-door negotiations between the two sides, which at times appeared to include Coria and members of his family.

The judge said the parties agreed with the finding of a tribunal of the ATP that the positive test was caused by "inadvertent and unknowing ingestion of a banned substance."

"Parties further agree that Universal's products were safe as formulated to the label, and met all FDA standards," Ferencz said.

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