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Muscle Finesse

UPDATE: October 14th 2013

"Researchers from global public health organization NSF International, Harvard Medical School and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands have published an article in Drug Testing and Analysis describing the public health implications of an emerging and potentially harmful substance found in a dietary supplement sold in stores and online.

The substance, called N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine (N,a-DEPEA), has a structure similar to methamphetamine and was found in a consumer dietary supplement product called Craze (marketed by Driven Sports, Inc.). Additionally, the substance (N,a-DEPEA) is not disclosed on the label. The substance was found as part of a collaborative testing project conducted by scientists at NSF International, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (NIPHE) in the Netherlands."

http://www.ourmidland.com/prweb/scientists-at-nsf-international-discover-emerging-and-potentially-harmful-adulterant/article_c9c75e32-3b00-5c10-8ee6-3cd0a36a2e78.html


and finally, here are the thoughts from Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and co-author of the analysis of Craze samples being published today in peer-reviewed scientific journal Drug Testing and Analysis, regarding the claims about counterfeit Driven Sports Craze.

"Chances are this is more likely an effort by the manufacturer to distract regulators and consumers from what's really going on here."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/14/tests-of-supplements-craze-and-detonate-find-methamphetamine-like-compound/2968041/



As soon as the first piece of evidence came to light about Driven Sports Craze 99% of all retailers and distributors quickly dropped the brand because of safety concerns for all consumers. Unfortunately there was also those who to this day are still selling Driven Sports Craze and are still denying that it contains a meth-amphetamine like compound. 



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Hopefully it is now time for those involved to hold up their hands and either admit they was wrong or what they really knew.


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UPDATE:

A story regarding Driven Sports owner Matt Cahill on USA Today........

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/25/bodybuilding-supplement-designer-matt-cahill-usa-today-investigation/2568815/

If you have any additional information regarding Driven Sports Craze or have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact the USA Today reporter Alison Young via her twitter page: https://twitter.com/alisonannyoung




Update:

Although we were extremely disappointed with the way that Predator Nutrition handled the situation below, we immediately removed the item from our website once we realised that there could be an outside chance that the item we stocked was counterfeit. However we are now 10 months on and we are still waiting on evidence which proves that the item test purchased from us was not genuine. 

We originally took the word of Predator Nutrition / Driven Sports as confirmation but since then there have been a lot of questions being asked regarding the Driven Sports brand and whether or not their formulas have been changed as well as serious allegations that the product contained amphetamines. There was speculation across several forums that the formula may have been changed because of the lawsuit discussed below. 

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=149140133&page=3

Matt Cahill has always stated that the formula has never been changed and frequently posts up lab results for stock that he has asked to be tested in order to disprove the allegations regarding it containing amphetamines. You can see these results in the link above.(Important: Please follow the link just below the "July 1st 2013" update for the results of further tests carried out by a 3rd party)

Here is information about the lawsuit which was started in the US against Driven Sports with allegations of Driven Sports Craze containing amphetamines:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/21/44876.htm

These are ofcourse just allegations so we'll have to wait on the outcome of the lawsuit but upon having a look around online we actually discovered that Matt Cahill had previously been sent to jail before for selling illegal substances online and marketing them as a fat loss product:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/iceci/enforcementactions/enforcementstory/enforcementstoryarchive/ucm091079.pdf

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This investigation was initiated in October 2002, and involved the encapsulation and Internet sale of 2, 4 Dinitrophenol (DNP) a highly toxic industrial chemical that resulted in a death

The Internet web site had encouraged the use of DNP as a weight loss drug. The father of the deceased wrote a letter to U.S. Postal Service (USPS) advising that his daughter died after ingesting the DNP. The deceased purchased the DNP over the Internet and the DNP was mailed to her using the U.S. mail system. 

This investigation linked two independent ongoing USPS investigations regarding suspicious mailings to the shipment of DNP. This investigation provided sufficient evidence to obtain arrest warrants for Matthew Cahill and Jason Sacks and search warrants for their respective residences. During the execution of the search warrants, additional evidence, such as DNP, computer records, adulterated foreign drugs and the criminal proceeds were recovered. 


On May 21, 2003, Cahill and Sacks were convicted on 11 counts of violating 18 U.S.C. § 371 and 21 U.S.C. §§ 331(a) and 333(a)(2) 
- Conspiracy to Introduce Adulterated and Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce, specifically DNP. 

On March 11, 2005, Cahill and Sacks were sentenced to 24 months incarceration for each of the 11 counts, to be served concurrently. They were also sentenced to 3 years of supervised parole after their release and forfeiture of $40,635t

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LATEST NEWS: 1st July 2013

Further details have come to light with regards to Driven Sports Craze so please make sure you follow this link and have a read through.

******http://www.athleticx.net/articles/consumer-warning-driven-sports-craze-spiked-with-designer-stimulant/ *******

There are links to both sides of the argument on that page so please have a read through all of them to gather as much information as possible. 

We've always been extremely transparent and honest with all of you and that is why this page has been updated to let you know that although the companies mentioned within this page have said the small quantity of stock that we had of Craze was counterfeit - we simply don't know whether this is or is not the case.

We've been made aware from various other wholesalers and retailers from around the world that they have already stopped stocking/selling Craze so we'll have to wait and see what unfolds with the product in the future.

One thing for sure is that we now always look in to not only every brand that we stock but also the people behind them.


We'd like to stress that we spoke to every customer who purchased a DS Craze from us and provided a full refund and a free product of their choice. We did this despite never being presented with any kind of evidence that the product we had been given was not genuine but we were simply not going to take any risk on the matter.



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Thank you to everyone for their support and awaiting our response regarding the recent press releases by Reggie Johal at Predator Nutrition through his social media pages, forums and his DrivenSports.co.uk website.

Firstly we must stress that we have never knowingly sold counterfeit products and we are extremely disappointed with how Reggie at Predator Nutrition choose the option of using this as a smear campaign against us rather than assisting us in resolving any issues swiftly.

We have compiled a timeline that will show you exactly what occurred over the past couple of weeks and we hope that you can see that we have acted swiftly throughout the process and in the best interests of our loyal customers. 


Friday October 19th: 
A trade account with an outstanding invoice with us and asked if it was ok for them to send us 70 tubs of Driven Sports Craze in lieu of payment. Although we had never made an agreement like this in the past we agreed as we’re aware that there are some companies out there who may be struggling due to the recent VAT increase. We then went ahead and made the item available for sale on our website at a special offer price because it was a simply whilst stocks last deal.


Tuesday October 23rd:  
We received an email from Reggie asking us to increase our price (£29.99) of the Driven Sports Craze so that it matched theirs (£35.99). We did not agree to price fix and therefore left our whilst stocks lasts offer available for everyone.

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From: Reggie 
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 10:41 AM
To: bill@musclefinesse.com 
Subject: Craze
 
Hi Bill

 Sonny said he spoke to you yesterday re:Craze. Can you move in line with us on the pricing?

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Thursday October 25th 21:48: 
Reggie made a large number of press announcements across all of the forums and social media pages regarding the selling of counterfeit products. He stated that he had made test purchases and discovered that a leading UK retailer was guilty of knowingly selling counterfeit products.


Friday October 26th 08:22: 
Reggie sent us an email from Driven Sports asking us to stop selling DS Craze. The email was just some copied and pasted text that read as follows:

------------------------------------
From: Reggie 
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 8:22 AM
To: info@musclefinesse.com 
Subject: Notice regarding Craze
Bill - See below message from DS they asked me to send you.

FAO: Bill Wilson
Message from Driven Sports
We request that Muscle Finesse cease to supply and advertise Driven Sports Craze by 11am today. 
We have asked our distributor in Europe to contact you by telephone and email for several days relating to this matter but without luck. 
Please confirm by writing your intended course of action. We look forward to your cooperation.
Sent from my iPad=
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Reggie Johal/Predator Nutrition have never asked us to stop selling Driven Sports Craze so we’re not sure why Matt Cahill at Driven Sports has been led to believe that we had. Nor have we been provided for any reason to stop selling.


Friday October 26th:
Reggie Johal/Predator Nutrition had never once mentioned to us that they believed the DS Craze that we had been sent was fake, and the only emails we had were (1) telling us to increase our selling price and (2) after we refused they sent us an email saying we should cease selling the product. However we were concerned that Reggie was hiding something from us as his emails coincided with his press releases. We therefore went ahead and made a test purchase from an online retailer so that we could compare the two tubs. 


Monday October 29th:
The test purchase was delivered and we then went ahead and compared the two tubs and were unable to notice any difference at all. We had received no further communication from Predator at this point but we were still concerned at his blog post as we were trying to work out if we were the leading retailer sponsoring the bodybuilding forums that we has referring to. Therefore we thought it was best to email Reggie and clarify everything and find out if he had discovered anything that we needed to be aware off.


Tuesday October 30th 13:03:
I sent an email across to Reggie on the Tuesday saying the following:


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On 30 Oct 2012, at 12:54, "Rob Herron" <robherron@musclefinesse.com> wrote:


Hi Reggie,
 
I hope you don’t mind the email but I’ve got a few quick questions regarding your recent posts about the possibility of counterfeit products currently being sold in the UK. 
 
In your blog post(http://blog.predatornutrition.com/2012/10/25/consumer-alert-counterfeit-supplements/) you have said that you’ve made some test purchases from several retailers and discovered that the product being sold was a fake. 
 
Because of recent emails with regards to the pricing of a particular product and how you have specifically mentioned a single US product being the main item in question, we’re assuming that you’re referring to the product DS Craze.
 
I believe Bill has already mentioned it to you but we’ve made a test purchase from a trade account of yours and we honestly can’t tell the difference between our stock and yours. I’m not sure if we’re missing something obvious but if that is the case then please let us know what it is. 
 
Bill is in the process of sending the two tubs to a lab to be tested because, like yourselves, we pride ourselves on the service we provide to our customers and if are to discover any counterfeit products within the industry then we will act accordingly and in co-operation with all other leading companies.
 
 
1. So please can you confirm the product in question that you believe is fake?
 
2. What are the differences between the real one and the fake? We would really like to know this so that we can keep on the look out and report any wrong doing.
 
3. Can you confirm if a test purchase for the product in question was made from our store and what were your findings? How did you come to the conclusion of your decision?
 
 
I hope to hear from you soon because if there are any issues then we’d like to get them resolved as quickly as possible.

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Reggie Johal quickly responded with the following

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From: Reggie 
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:03 PM
To: Rob Herron 
Subject: Re: Counterfeit Products

Hi Rob

Nice to hear from you but unfortunately I cannot help in this matter any further as it is with Driven Sports' lawyers. I forwarded Bill's message that they should contact him directly and left it at that. 

I do know they are very frustrated and unhappy with the situation. I told them I would contact you guys based on our positive history together but given I got nowhere there isn't much left I can do.

Reggie

Sent from my iPad
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This really made us concerned because, as mentioned above, we’ve received no contact from Reggie apart from asking us to price fix and then a random copied and pasted message from Driven Sports telling us to cease selling their product. 

At this point we were understandably confused to say the least because our test purchase of a tub of DS Craze ended up being the same as we were selling, but we strongly believed Predator were hiding something from us because why would the Driven Sports lawyers be involved. As it happens the Driven Sports lawyers in question are based down the road from Predator in Leeds.



Tuesday October 30th 14:24: 
We then responded with a second email; 

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Hi Reggie,

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly and I’m sorry to hear that you’re unable to provide us with any information that may help us identify potential counterfeit products within our industry.

 I’m sorry you feel like you got nowhere with us but I’m sure you can understand that we can’t simply comply with what you have asked for in your emails because to be honest we believe it to be completely unreasonable. You have sent two emails and they were;

 1) Asking us to increase our website price, and a second email later after we refused to price fix.....
2) Telling us to cease selling DS Craze

 We have received absolutely no communication from you with information about possible counterfeit products. 

 http://forum.predatornutrition.com/forum/supplements/urgent-notice-counterfeit-supplements-warning/
Quote from the above blog “I can tell you I am annoyed with some retailers out there who I know for a fact are deliberately selling fakes including one retailer who I thought would know better which actually is a sponsor on some UK bodybuilding forums.”

I personally believe that all supplement companies should join forces to eradicate counterfeit products from our industry so I do think it’s a shame that you may have information that you’re unwilling to share with us. If you do decide to share any information regarding any companies that are engaging in the selling of fake supplements, such as the companies you’re referring to in your statement above, then we would of course be extremely grateful.

We will continue our own testing of products, as we always do, and will of course be in touch if any issues do arise.

 As far as I’m aware we’ve not had any contact from Driven Sports so I’ll get in touch with them this afternoon and see if we can help in anyway. 

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Reggie again responded very quickly and did not mention any concerns about the Craze that we had.

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From: Reggie 
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 2:33 PM
To: Rob Herron 
Subject: RE: Counterfeit Products

Hi Rob

I am glad to see you are attending to this matter. I wouldn’t expect to hear from DS directly as I know they are busy and based in the eye of a hurricane (literally!).

The main issue here is the fact that you failed to source products via an approved channel and in doing so have risked the reputation of the DS brand (and Muscle Finesse brand I guess). I am guessing this is their main complaint. I can’t comment on counterfeits but that blog post was not a reference to you. I note you still sell the product though.
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If we purposely went out and sourced DS Craze from an alternative distributor then we would of course understand his annoyance. But that isn’t the case here – we had it sent from a trade account of ours in lieu of money owed in order to help them out.

You’ll also see in his email that he informed us that the blog post was not in reference to us. So at this point we still believed the product was genuine.


So to summarise so far we had the following information to go on:

1. We received stock from a trade account of ours in lieu of money owed in order to help them out.

2. Predator Nutrition sent us an email asking us to price fix and match their price - of which we would not comply with.

3. Predator Nutrition make announcements across all forums and social media pages regarding a leading online retailer knowingly selling counterfeit products. Because of his recent emails with us and our belief that he was implying that it was us in his posts, we believed the product to be the Craze.

4. We were clearly concerned at the news of counterfeits being available and we went ahead and made a test purchase from a different online retailer and once the item arrived we discovered that it was identical to ours in every way.

5. Despite the product being the same we were still concerned because of his blog post and went ahead and sent him the two emails shown above.

Instead of responding to our concerns, the only thing that he told us was about him being unhappy that we didn't buy the Craze from him and, most importantly, how we weren't one of the companies mentioned in his PR campaign.



Tuesday October 30th 14:45:
We were still confused at this point because we weren’t sure why he was saying the matter was with the Driven Sports Lawyers because the only thing we were guilty of was not agreeing to price fix. 

We immediately removed all DS Craze from sale pending further investigation – even though we had been reassured by Reggie at Predator Nutrition that we weren’t one of the companies in question. 

We then went ahead and purchased a second test product but this time from Predator Nutrition. 


Monday November 5th:  
Later yesterday afternoon we received our item from Predator Nutrition and soon noticed that the font was different as well as the pink/purple colour behind the logo.  We then reviewed the purchases made from our website and was able to identify what we believe to be a test purchase which was made by a gentleman who works at Reggie’s former employers. This order was placed on October 24th and if we’re correct in thinking that this was in fact a test purchase that Reggie referred to in his previous press releases then we’re extremely disappointed that he never brought the matter to our attention.


As a leading distributor in the UK for all of the leading brands we pride ourselves on the service that we provide to all retail and wholesale customers that we do business with. If we are in fact the leading online retailer that he referred to as knowingly selling counterfeit products then we find this completely outrageous and of course a long way from the truth – as everyone who has done business with us over the past 10 years will agree. It’s a shame that Predator Nutrition has seen this as an opportunity to begin a smear campaign rather than assist us earlier on and try and resolve any issues immediately.

We can only assume that the goal here was to undermine our company while also securing Predator Nutrition’ sales as opposed to acting in the consumers interest.  


We're currently recalling all Craze that has been purchased from us, providing everyone with a full refund and are also offering any other pre workout of their choice as a replacement free of charge.





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LATEST NEWS: 1st July 2013

Further details have come to light with regards to Driven Sports Craze so please make sure you follow this link and have a read through.

******http://www.athleticx.net/articles/consumer-warning-driven-sports-craze-spiked-with-designer-stimulant/ *******

There are links to both sides of the argument on that page so please have a read through all of them to gather as much information as possible. 

We've always been extremely transparent and honest with all of you and that is why this page has been updated to let you know that although the companies mentioned within this page have said the small quantity of stock that we had of Craze was counterfeit - we simply don't know whether this is or is not the case.

We've been made aware from various other wholesalers and retailers from around the world that they have already stopped stocking/selling Craze so we'll have to wait and see what unfolds with the product in the future.

One thing for sure is that we now always look in to not only every brand that we stock but also the people behind them.


We'd like to stress that we spoke to every customer who purchased a DS Craze from us and provided a full refund and a free product of their choice. We did this despite never being presented with any kind of evidence that the product we had been given was not genuine but we were simply not going to take any risk on the matter.



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