Reduced Suspension Sought by Garcia’s Team Over Contaminated Supplements

After learning that two of the supplements Ryan Garcia took prior to his victory over Devin Haney on April 20th contained ostarine, his legal team is actively seeking a shortened suspension for the boxer. Garcia maintains that the contamination came from his dietary supplements and that he did not purposefully use the prohibited chemical. Given these conditions, his legal team is arguing for a lighter punishment and trying to prevent a formal hearing with the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC).

Key Points:

  • Contaminated Supplements: Garcia’s team argues that the presence of Ostarine in his system was due to contaminated supplements, not intentional doping.
  • Legal Strategy: To avoid a NYSAC hearing, Garcia’s team is seeking a four-month suspension, citing the unintentional nature of the contamination.
  • Sports Nutritionist’s View: Victor Conte, a sports nutritionist working with Haney, suggested possible tampering with the supplement containers, raising questions about the chain of custody.
  • Fighter Responsibility: Despite these claims, fighters are typically held accountable for substances found in their bodies, which could impact Garcia’s suspension length.
  • Impact on Boxing: A lengthy suspension for Garcia could harm his career and the sport, given his popularity and influence.

Legal Argument

Contaminated Supplements:

Ryan Garcia’s legal team is focusing on the argument that the Ostarine found in his system was due to contamination in the supplements he was using. They argue that Garcia did not intentionally ingest the banned substance, and therefore, his suspension should be reduced. This argument is bolstered by the results of a hair sample test, which indicated that Garcia had not been using Ostarine long-term.

Seeking Reduced Suspension:

To avoid the potential complications of a formal NYSAC hearing, Garcia’s legal team is pushing for a four-month suspension. They argue that this shorter suspension is justified given the unintentional nature of the contamination. The legal team is negotiating with the commission to reach an agreement that acknowledges Garcia’s circumstances without severely penalizing him.

Testing Concerns

Victor Conte’s Statement:

Victor Conte, a renowned sports nutritionist who works with Haney, has raised concerns about the integrity of the supplement testing process. Conte suggested that there might have been tampering with the supplements sent for testing, as the containers were unsealed, potentially compromising the chain of custody. These claims add another layer of complexity to Garcia’s case, although they do not absolve him of responsibility.


Despite Conte’s concerns, the prevailing view in sports regulation is that athletes are ultimately responsible for what they put into their bodies. This principle, known as strict liability, means that even unintentional ingestion of banned substances can result in penalties. If the NYSAC adheres to this principle, Garcia could face a significant suspension regardless of the circumstances.

Potential Consequences for Garcia and Boxing

Career Impact:

A lengthy suspension could have serious ramifications for Garcia’s career. If the NYSAC imposes a suspension of a year or more, Garcia would be forced to remain inactive or seek alternative ways to continue fighting. Given Garcia’s high profile and popularity, it is difficult to imagine him out of the ring for an extended period. This situation could also negatively impact the sport of boxing, as Garcia is a major draw for fans.

Haney’s Record:

If Garcia is suspended, Haney and his team might push to have the loss removed from Haney’s record. However, such a move might hold little practical value, as fans who witnessed the fight would still regard Haney as having lost. The most effective way for Haney to overcome the defeat would be to secure a victory in a rematch. However, Haney has expressed reluctance to fight Garcia again, complicating the situation further.


Legal Argument:

  • Supplements Contaminated: Garcia’s legal team claims that the Ostarine found in his samples came from contaminated supplements.
  • Seeking Reduced Suspension: They are pushing for a four-month suspension to avoid a formal hearing and argue for leniency due to the circumstances.

Testing Concerns:

  • Victor Conte’s Statement: Conte suggests possible tampering with the supplements, raising doubts about the testing process.
  • Responsibility: Despite these concerns, fighters are typically held accountable for banned substances found in their bodies.

Career Impact:

  • Potential Suspension: A lengthy suspension could derail Garcia’s career and negatively impact boxing.
  • Haney’s Record: If Garcia is suspended, Haney’s team may push to have his loss overturned, although its practical impact may be minimal.

Final Thoughts

Due to the accidental nature of the supplement contamination, Ryan Garcia’s legal team is putting forth a compelling case for a shortened term. But how the NYSAC interprets the evidence and applies the strict responsibility doctrine will determine the final result. Garcia’s career and boxing as a whole might suffer greatly from an extended suspension. Watching how the commission addresses these intricate concerns will be critical as the crisis unfolds.

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