Dons look to muscle in on title campaign

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The Independent Online

Wimbledon sought to add muscle to their First Division promotion campaign yesterday by signing a two-year £1m sponsorship deal with the dietary supplements manufacturer, Maximuscle.

The company supplies hundreds of athletes and insists that their products are not to blame for positive nandrolone tests some users have produced. The likes of the boxer Naseem Hamed, the athlete Kelly Holmes and the cricketer Marcus Trescothick have all used the company's supplements without problems.

Maximuscle says it is the only company in its industry to test every batch it produces for nandrolone contamination.

"We look after more than 300 world-class athletes and it's inevitable there will be a minute percentage who will test positive [for reasons unconnected with the product]," Zef Eisenberg, Maximuscle's managing director, said.

A UK Sport report into the cases of the British athletes Dougie Walker, Mark Richardson and Gary Cadogan – all banned after testing positive for nandrolone – blamed dietary supplements for the rise in positive testing. An academic study that was used in Richardson's defence, however, stated that Maximuscle's products had been cleared of any contamination with nandrolone.

Maximuscle, which also sponsors Barnet FC, will provide supplements to the Dons and will employ a team of sports scientists to advise the Wimbledon players.

* Frank de Boer, Barcelona's Dutch international midfielder, yesterday had a one-year drugs ban, which started on 14 June, reduced by Fifa, football's world governing body. He will resume playing on 1 September. Fifa has followed the European governing body, Uefa, in accepting that De Boer's positive nandrolone test in March may have been a result of "contaminated food supplements".

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