Former two-time middleweight title contender Yoel Romero was
awarded a massive settlement on Tuesday in a New Jersey court after he filed a
lawsuit against a supplement company responsible for a tainted product that led
to a drug test failure in the UFC.
According to Romero’s manager Abraham Kawa of First Round Management,
the 42-year old Cuban born fighter was awarded $27.45 million in damages.
The settlement included approximately $3 million in lost
wages, $3 million in reputable harm and another $3 million for emotional
damage. The $9 plus million settlement was then tripled as a penalty for violating
the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
“We feel justified,” Kawa said in a statement on Tuesday
following the hearing. “Yoel, even if no money is made, would’ve been happy
with a ruling that exonerates him. The award was icing no the cake.”
The lawsuit was filed after Romero tested positive for
ibutamoren following an out-of-competition drug test administered by USADA (United
States Anti-Doping Agency) in December 2015.
Romero ultimately accepted a six-month suspension after testing
his supplements proved that one of them was contaminated with the banned substance
yet it was not listed on the ingredients label.
Following the suspension handed down by USADA, Romero along
with his management team and attorney Howard Jacobs filed a lawsuit against
Gold Star Performance Products, the makers of the supplement that contained the
Gold Star never answered to the lawsuit or appeared in court
to defend themselves in the settlement issued by the court on Tuesday.
While the judgment was ultimately handed down that Romero
should receive the $27.45 million in a settlement, it remains to be seen
exactly how much of that money he will actually receive depending on the
company’s assets and the possibility that they file for bankruptcy as a result
of this lawsuit.
Either way, Romero wanted to clear his name of any
wrongdoing and ultimately that’s what the lawsuit was about more than anything
else as he sought to fight back against the notion that he knowingly attempted
to cheat the system.
As for his fight career, Romero is currently gearing up for
a showdown against Paulo Costa at UFC 242 in August.