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 banned substance.
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.