NFL Bans Coaches From Relationships With Supplement Companies. But NFL and WWE Doctor Joseph Maroon? Ka-Ching!

Linda McMahon 2012? Bring It On!
January 19, 2011
NFL: Dr. Maroon’s Supplement Work OK Because He’s Not League or Club ‘Employee’
January 20, 2011 is reporting that the National Football League ordered new Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson to sever his ties with a supplement company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (S.W.A.T.S), whose product IGF-1 contains a banned substance.

See Eric Adelson’s story at

“We have a long-standing policy that prohibits coaches from any relationship with a supplement company,” said Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s director of corporate communications.

Curiously, no such policy applies to team or league physicians, such as Dr. Joseph Maroon, a long-time neurologist for the Pittsburgh Steelers and member of the NFL concussion policy committee. I have been reporting that Maroon endorses a supplement called Vindure, which is based on the red-grape abstract resveratrol, and is an owner of the company that licensed Harvard Medical School research to Vindure’s producer, Vinomis Labs.

So far as I know, Vindure contains no substances banned by the league. But Vinomis Labs is a supplement company.

In addition – and as I am reporting here for the first time – Dr. Maroon endorses another supplement called Sports Brain Guard, described as a “daily tri-delivery bioactive protection program” for concussed athletes, from Irvine, California-based Newport Nutritionals. See Maroon’s piece of the hype at

Maroon also is medical director of World Wrestling Entertainment. Dr. Bryan Donohue, WWE’s consulting cardiologist, is an owner of Vinomis Labs. Both Maroon and Donohue are at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, whose officials refuse to comment on whether Vinomis Labs and other outside business interests are covered by a recently revised and much-publicized ethics policy.

When I asked NFL spokesman Greg Aiello if the league had a parallel ethics policy for team physicians, he said they were bound only by the codes of their professional medical societies. I will forward this post to Aiello and invite comment on why the NFL bans its coaches but not its doctors from relationships with supplement companies.

WWE has not commented on whether it has an NFL-modeled or any other conflict-of-interest policy for its consulting doctors.

This is all of particular relevance because the Federal Trade Commission, on the request of Senator Tom Udall, just opened an investigation of the promotional claims of the NFL’s official helmet supplier, Riddell. Those claims are based on NFL Charities-funded research conducted by Maroon.

Irv Muchnick

1 Comment

  1. I for one certainly feel more comfortable knowing Dr. Maroon is bound by “by the codes of their professional medical societies.” If the codes include those which bound Dr. Ira “No” Casson, we should all feel comfortable. We all know Dr. “No’s” history of doing what’s right for the players.

    The fact that Dr. Maroon even has his name affiliated with the WWE speaks volumes of his character.

    All discarded ex-players families suffer from the effects of our employment in the NFL industry. How is it, players whose lives are being damaged can not benefit from these endorsements, yet the very whores who make the decisions to keep these players on the field benefit greatly.

    Not only sounds like a conflict of interest, but looks to me like a liability issue.

    I wonder if there’s any law firms looking for some action?

    George Visger
    SF 49ers 80 & 81
    Survivor of 9 NFL Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick