Bloomberg Law
March 17, 2023, 5:52 PM

Ex-Pitcher Loses MLB Elk Antler Supplement Suit, Gets Sanctioned

John Woolley
John Woolley

Former minor league pitcher Neiman Nix was sanctioned by the Fifth Circuit after it affirmed an earlier dismissal of the player’s claims against Major League Baseball, the MLB Player’s Association, their business partners, and various media organizations.

Nix’s pro se appeal was the latest in a series of nine unsuccessful lawsuits against the league wherein he alleged it selectively enforced a ban on his now-defunct company’s elk antler health supplements.

Seeking to “end Nix’s onslaught of vexatious and frivolous litigation,” the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will require Nix to obtain permission before future filings against MLB and associated defendants in its jurisdiction. It’s the fourth time Nix has been the subject of court sanctions, according to the opinion by Judge Jerry E. Smith.

  • DNA Sports Performance Lab Inc., Nix’s company, was subject to a 2013 MLB and MLBPA investigation into performance-enhancing substances that concluded in a ban after its products were found to contain insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-1
  • Nix sued alleging he was unfairly targeted and that MLB partners, including Gatorade and Cytosport, sold products containing IGF-1, however a lower court found DNA Sports didn’t adequately test those products, nor show how they diverted sales from their own supplements
  • The Southern District of Florida dismissed Nix’s defamation case against the Associated Press, ESPN, and USA Today over their coverage of his litigation, after which he brought the league and other defendants to court in several more jurisdictions

Judges Edith Brown Clement, and Cory T. Wilson joined the Thursday opinion.

Kobre & Kim LLP and Yetter Coleman LLP represent Major League Baseball. Altshuler Berzon LLP represents the MLB Player’s Association. Thomas & LoCicero PL represents the AP, ESPN, and USA Today. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP represents Gatorade and Cytosport.

The case is Nix v. Major League Baseball, 5th Cir., No. 22-20364, 3/16/23.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Woolley in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Martina Stewart at; Patrick L. Gregory at