Former NFL players Tim Tebow and James Harrison are expected to be called as witnesses in a high-profile civil case against a trainer accused of dispensing banned performance-enhancing drugs to athletes, USA Today reports.
Neither Tebow nor Harrison are defendants in the case, but both are associated with trainer Ian Danney, who is accused of providing or injecting other athletes with banned substances in two separate lawsuits.
Danney has denied the claims against him.
Tebow expected to testify to defendant’s ‘illegal activities’
According to USA Today, Tebow and Harrison are listed as expected witnesses in a case in Arizona, while the plaintiff in a separate California case against Danney also wants Tebow to testify.
From the USA Today report:
Tebow is "expected to testify regarding the defendants’ illegal activities, to include, but not be limited to: procuring prescription medications and illegal substances to distribute to PEP clients — including those distributed by Danney to Mr. Tebow,” court documents from the Arizona case read.
PEP — Performance Enhancement Professionals — is the name of Danney’s training company. The company’s website touts Tebow alongside Harrison, Terrell Suggs and several other current and former professional athletes as its clients.
Tebow has praised ‘Ian’s magic’ in injury recovery
USA Today notes that Tebow has publicly praised Danney, crediting "Ian’s magic" in a book published last year for helping him recover from a muscle injury in 2016.
Cyclist and former Olympic bobsledder Gea Johnson is seeking damages from Danney in the Arizona case for claims of negligence involving a banned substance and sexual assault, according to the report.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency handed Johnson a 21-month ban in 2017 for testing positive for banned substance Nuvigil, which she claims she took under Danney’s guidance. She tested positive for the drug at a 2016 cycling competition in Indianapolis.
Defendant also accused of sexual assault
In the suit, she claims that Danney sexually assaulted her in apparent retaliation for talking to the USADA about him in relation to her positive test, according to the report.
Johnson’s attorney Bill Gilbert wrote that he seeks Harrison as a witness due to his knowledge of Danney’s operation and relationship with Johnson.
“James Harrison was a long-time client and friend of lan Danney's who was present and worked with Gea Johnson and observed her job functions over a period of many years,” an email from Gilbert filed in the legal proceedings reads. “He knows the inner workings of lan Danney's enterprises, and the illegal activity that lan engaged in that created the anxiety and fear that led him to retaliate against Gea Johnson when he learned she was reporting his illegal actions to USADA.”
Defendant pleaded Fifth Amendment 46 times
The California case was filed by Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Corey Liuget, who claims that Danney injected him with a banned growth-hormone peptide without his knowledge that resulted in his receiving a four-game ban from the NFL last season.
Danney participated in initial proceedings in that case on July 25, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to decline answering questions 46 times.
According to the report, the suit claims that Arnold is connected to Danney via a company he worked for that provided supplements to Danney’s dietary supplement company Optimum EFX.
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