American legendary soccer player Abby Wambach told ESPN that she plans to completely get rid of the company selling drugs for concussions that are funded by Brett Favre. The company is the subject of a Mississippi welfare fraud investigation.
Wambach is one of the World Cup winners and two-time gold medalist included in the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was on the sports advisory committee for Odyssey Health, a drug company that has announced that it is in the process of developing a nasal spray to treat concussions. Odyssey Health’s biggest investor is Favre.
According to a suit filed in the State of Mississippi, $2.1 million that was supposed to be distributed for welfare benefits was given toward Odyssey Health. Odyssey Health, before named Prevacus was implicated in the fraud case after the first arrests were made in February 2020 with a lot of details being covered by the nonprofit news agency Mississippi Today.
In an email sent to ESPN, this Thursday Wambach stated that it was not until she was approached early in the morning that she became informed about “disturbing information” regarding Odyssey Health. She stated that she had backed Odyssey Health as part of an individual effort to minimize the risk of injuries resulting from concussions.
“Minutes after learning of this latest information, I started the process of taking immediate steps to completely remove myself from any involvement, both financial and otherwise with Prevacus/Odyssey Healthcare Inc. This was a procedure that I demanded to be completed by the close of the day today.” Wambach said.
On Thursday afternoon, her relationship with the company was removed from its website. NBC News was the first to announce that she had cut connections to the business.
Wambach was not available to request an interview, nor did she answer questions regarding her position on the advisory panel been about or what stake in the financials she held with the business.
“Since I truly believed that the company was transparent about a product which could save the next generation of athletes the devastating impact of concussion-related injuries that I experienced during my professional career, I am deeply angry and disappointed by the information I’ve learned this morning,” Wambach wrote.
Other people listed on the company’s website as members of the advisory board for sports are ex-NFL quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Mark Rypien, Chicago Cubs manager David Ross and ex- NFL head coach Steve Mariucci.
In the year 2016, Wambach, one of the greatest soccer headers and defenders, announced that following her passing her brain will be utilized to conduct concussion research. In the following year, she joined Favre Warner and Prevacus founder Dr. Jacob VanLandingham on the “Today” show to talk about concussions and help promote Prevacus.
Favre was a part of Prevacus in 2014 and by the end of 2018 Favre, the ex-Green Bay Packers quarterback was the biggest investor from outside and stockholder of Prevacus, according to the lawsuit which was filed in May by Mississippi state Mississippi against more than three dozen defendants. Among them were Favre along with VanLandingham. Favre earlier told Men’s Health magazine he had invested close to $1 million into Prevacus.
According to the suit lawsuit, in December 2018, Favre requested VanLandingham to contact Nancy New, the owner of the Mississippi non-profit, to make use of money from Mississippi’s Department of Human Services to invest in Prevacus. VanLandingham made a pitch for the stock at the Jan. 2nd meeting, 2019, at the home of Favre and included New along with John Davis, then the director of the state’s human services department who was also in attendance The lawsuit states.
Throughout the next 10-month period, $2.1 million that had been allocated to welfare recipients was transferred to the company “to secure “clinical trial sites’ that would be located in Mississippi,” according to the lawsuit. Instead, the money was used to purchase shares of Prevacus for those who were at the heart of the fraud, as stated in the lawsuit.
A formal agreement to get the welfare money was part of the “sham” intended to conceal the financial benefits that were granted to Favre, VanLandingham, and others The state claims. The funds were derived through Mississippi’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families which is a poverty-fighting program.
On February. 5 2021, exactly one year to the day that New, Davis, and four others were first detained in the fraud investigation, Odyssey announced it was buying Prevacus the drug used to treat concussions.