New York, June 19: Guillermo Coria, suspended for doping by the ATP Tour in 2001, claimed negligence by a multi-vitamin manufacturer was the cause for a banishment that cost him millions of dollars in court Monday.
The 25-year-old from Argentina began his legal fight in New Jersey Superior Court against Universal Nutrition, accusing the firm of "negligent manufacturing practices" were at the heart of his seven-month suspension.
"Guillermo not only wants to clear his name, but also wants to ensure that no other athletes experience devastation and career destruction as a result of manufacturing companies negligence," Coria attorney William Nystrom said.
"Though he can never reclaim the time he lost, he can achieve financial compensation and a restored international reputation."
Coria claimed improper manufacturing methods allowed residue from products including steroids to mix with the multi vitamins Coria ingested, causing him to fail a doping test and damaging his reputation as well as hurt his career.
Coria was able to prove his case to the ATP with sufficient satisfaction in 2001 that tour officials reduced his suspension from two years to the seven months he had already served.
That absence was enough to send Coria tumbling from the world rankings top 30 to 200th on the list of the world's best men's tennis players.
Manufacturers using common equipment for making and sorting products that are in violation of doping protocols and those athletes rely upon for nutrition supplements has become an issue in several US sports.
Some leagues have struck deals with manufacturers to safeguard against such dangers.
Coria, only 19 at the time of the ban, bounced back to finish in the season-ending world top 10 for three seasons before being beset by injuries last year and falling out of the top 100.