When the I first wrote about amino spiking (or protein spiking, if you prefer), it was an open secret in the industry. Some companies opposed it (Optimum Nutrition, etc…) while others embraced it (Giant Sports, etc…). Regardless of the legality, it comes down to ethics. You either give your customers less than they think they’re getting, to lower your production costs and pad your bank account, or you don’t. Companies know which is the right thing to do and which is not, whether an FDA loophole in labeling guidelines allows it or not. With that said, MusclePharm has been accused of spiking in a recently filed class action lawsuit.
According to the lab tests that support the complaint, MusclePharm’s Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass contains less than 50% of the nitrogen by actual protein, and the rest is spiked. This doesn’t make them the worst offender in the protein spiking game, but MusclePharm took things a step farther, and not only did they spike, but when accusations began flying they denied it on Twitter, a fact which was noted in the complaint:
In addition, they began circulating various tests that they claimed would prove their innocence in the matter – a rather dubious set of tests performed on their Iron Whey (which is not the product that the lawsuit claims was spiked). Predictably, Marc Lobliner put out a video saying that MusclePharm was cleared of spiking (it’s worth mentioning that he sells their products)…
Not long after the Lobliner declaration, the president (or whatever he is now) and founder of MusclePharm, tweeted a link to the video and called the process of spiking “Bullsh*t” and hashtagged it with #HypeisREAL ( who could argue with such a bold #hashtag?)
Again, taking deception to a new level, they continued to circulate their lab tests widely, sending them to PricePlow (who noted that the tests raised more questions than they answered) and Stack3d, who said that MusclePharm had cleared their Arnold Series of spiking:
While the process of spiking ought to be of interest to you as a consumer, the post facto denials and cover-up should be of greater concern. Their investors should certainly be concerned, as I’d suspect that Monday morning sees their stock dropping faster than Tiger Woods drops the Phoenix Open (or faster than the Browns dropped Johnny Manziel, faster than Michael Vick’s QB rating dropped, or whatever their athletes do to fail immediately after MusclePharm signs them). But let’s not forget the real victim here – poor Arnold. He put his name on a nutritional supplement, for the first time ever, and now it’s getting dragged through the mud – the potential media fallout from The Austrian Oak ripping off bodybuilders for half their money, by only giving them half as much protein as they thought…it’s enough to make anyone run to ze choppah.