Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Corey Liuget filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming a former trainer of his injected him with a banned substance — which later led to a four-game suspension from the league.
That trainer, Ian Danney, participated in a pretrial deposition in July, according to a report from USA Today, and declined to answer 46 questions regarding his practices — including with former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
Who is Ian Danney?
Ian Danney is a former Canadian Olympian, and competed on their four-man bobsleigh team in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Danney formed a sports training business — Performance Enhancement Professionals — in Arizona in 2002, and formed a dietary supplements business a few years later, according to USA Today. His training business soon took off and started attracting high-profile customers, including Tim Tebow, Justin Upton, Terrell Suggs and Demaryius Thomas, among others. Several of his clients have tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs, per the report.
“For almost twenty years, athletes and coaches across the globe have sought out Ian’s expertise,” his website reads. “Whether it be for his cutting-edge strength and conditioning programs, his truly next-level sports supplement and nutritional advice, or his world-class speed coaching, Ian has developed a reputation amongst athletes and coaches as the real deal.
“He’s known as the secret weapon amongst a select group of NFL stars, providing the very best in bespoke training and nutrition packages from his five-star facility in Scottsdale, Arizona.”
The lawsuit in question
Liuget filed a federal civil lawsuit against Danney last year, accusing him of injecting him with a banned substance without his consent in 2017. The banned substance — ipamorelin — is banned by the FDA and the NFL. He also claims that Danney gave him another product that required a prescription, something Liuget didn’t have, per the Associated Press.
Liuget was suspended for four games in 2018 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances while he was with the Los Angeles Chargers.
He is seeking no less than $15 million in damages, according to the Associated Press, and a trial is scheduled for February.
Danney pleads the Fifth Amendment
Danney participated in a pretrial deposition testimony on July 25, according to records obtained by USA Today. In that deposition, he admitted that “he imported an anti-inflammatory drug from Australia called pentosan and injected it in at least one client despite not having a medical license.”
He did, however, invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, declining to answer 46 questions during that deposition. That amendment, among other things, grants someone the right to decline to answer questions to avoid self-incrimination.
Danney did deny that he injected Liuget with a banned substance, and is fighting the lawsuit — something his attorney, Jeffrey Springer, told USA Today will clearly show he’s not the source of the banned substance in question.
“However, there is no doubt that Mr. Liuget’s performance was clearly subpar at the time of his test and it was highly questionable as to whether the high salary he was being paid was justified by his lack of production on defense,” Springer said, via USA Today. “That he would seek help from a trainer of the skill and caliber of Mr. Danney is not surprising. Blaming Mr. Danney is surprising, given Mr. Liuget’s good character.”
According to USA Today, Danney admitted that former safety LaRon Landry and current Buffalo Bills lineman Trent Murphy were clients of his who tested positive for banned substances.
He was asked in the deposition if he ever injected Landry with anything, though he declined to answer.
The questions then turned to Tim Tebow, who was a client of Danney’s.
“Let me ask you about Tim Tebow,” Ginsberg said. “Have you ever injected him?”
Springer then asked his client if they needed to confer before answering. Danney said he did, and the two left the room, according to the deposition transcript. After returning, Springer said, “Mr. Danney is going to invoke his rights under the Fifth Amendment and decline to answer the question.”
“Have you ever given Mr. Tebow any anabolic steroids?” Ginsberg then asked Danney.
“No,” Danney replied.
“Have you ever provided to him any illegal substance?” Liuget’s attorney asked.
“No,” Danney replied.
“Have you ever provided to him anything that required a prescription?” Liuget’s attorney asked.
Springer then asked Danney if he needed to confer. Danney said yes and the two left the room again.
After returning, Springer said Danney would not answer according to his Fifth Amendment rights.
They did not answer those questions, his attorney said, because they “not only intruded on his rights, but also those of other individuals who were not present to respond to the scandalous allegations made by Mr. Liuget about his fellow athletes.”
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