LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Los Angeles-based former professional cyclist, who is banned for life from competition due to doping violations, is expected to be sentenced today for selling performance-enhancing drugs imported from overseas in violation of federal law.
Nick Brandt-Sorenson, 35, faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine on the misdemeanor count of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce, but could receive a probationary sentence, according to documents filed in Los Angeles federal court.
Defense attorney Marilyn E. Bednarski said her client regrets his involvement with the banned substances.
“The experience of the investigation and prosecution has been significant for this young man,” the attorney said. “He’s in a very different place than he was at the time. This experience has had a huge impact on him.”
Brandt-Sorenson pleaded guilty to the charge in March, admitting to selling a vial of erythropoietin, a hormone known as EPO that boosts endurance by increasing the number of red blood cells in the circulatory system, for $631 to an athlete in Colorado, according to federal prosecutors.
In 2011, Brandt-Sorenson created the “Anemia Patient Group” website “under the guise” of providing information about various performance- enhancing drugs and substances, according to the plea agreement.
In fact, Brandt-Sorenson sold Actovegin, a derivative of calf’s blood which is not approved for any use in humans, EPO and other banned substances through his blog, according to prosecutors, who said the drugs were imported from online pharmacies in China and Europe.
Brandt-Sorenson, who designs made-to-measure cycling apparel for his namesake fashion line, is a multi-time California State Criterium Champion and was briefly ranked top 20 in the country, according to the company’s website.
On July 11, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that Brandt-Sorenson had accepted a lifetime ban for his second and third doping offenses.
In the summer of 2013, just prior to the conclusion of Brandt-Sorenson’s first period of ineligibility, the agency said it obtained non-analytical evidence indicating that the cyclist had engaged in additional prohibited doping conduct, both prior to, and subsequent to, USADA’s announcement of his first doping violation on January 2012.
USADA said this month that it had concluded that Brandt-Sorenson was involved in marketing and distributing prohibited and illegal substances to fellow athletes through the “Anemia Patient” website.
Under the agency’s code, “a lifetime period of ineligibility is the appropriate consequence for a third anti-doping rule violation,” USADA said in a press release.
Brandt-Sorenson is retired from competition, according to his website.