Before last year’s Super Bowl, the New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile of New England quarterback Tom Brady, entitled Tom Brady Cannot Stop. In it, author Mark Leibovich introduces a man named Alex Guerrero, Brady’s “best friend and ever-present guru for training and many other things.”
While Guerrero is known as Brady’s “body coach,” that label significantly understates his exhaustive reach into Brady’s life. Guerrero is his spiritual guide, counselor, pal, nutrition adviser, trainer, massage therapist and family member. He is the godfather of Brady’s younger son, Ben. He accompanies Brady to almost every Patriots game, home and away, and stands on the sidelines. He works with Brady’s personal chef to put together optimally healthful menus; he plans Brady’s training schedule months in advance. Above all, during the football season he works on Brady seven days a week, usually twice a day.
Around the same time, in December 2014 Sports Illustrated published its own glowing profile on Guerrero, aptly titled “Given the way he prepares, Tom Brady won’t be slowing down any time soon.”
Brady and Guerrero met through former Patriot Willie McGinest, and in their time together Brady has turned Julian Edleman, Wes Welker, and others onto him. Brady and Guerrero are also business partners through TB12, Brady’s fitness/lifestyle brand that operates out of Gillette Stadium. By all accounts, Guerrero is Brady’s “Mr. Miyagi”, as Edleman put in in the NYT piece — the reason that 38 year-old Brady seems practically ageless in the pocket.
This weekend, however, Boston Magazine published a lengthy article revealing that Guerrero has a murky history of selling sham medical products. The report shows describes Guerrero as a “modern day snake-oil salesman.”
In 2004, Guerrero was sued by the FTC over a supposed miracle drug called Supreme Greens, which Guerrero alleged cured AIDS and terminal cancer in 192 of 200 patients tested. Supreme Greens, which was marketed as an infomercial on Spike TV and Women’s Entertainment, claimed to be an effective cure, treatment, and preventative for cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Pregnant woman could take it, as could new-born babies and anyone on any other medication.
In 2005, the FTC sued Guerrero over the product, and ultimately banned him from referring to himself as a medical doctor or doctor of Oriental Medicine, both of which he did on the infomercials for Supreme Greens. His actual degree, reports Boston Magazine, was a Masters in Chinese medicine at a California college that no longer exists.
As a result of the lawsuit, Guerrero also admitted to completely fabricating the 200-person study. In no way was Supreme Greens medically harmful, but it was concluded to be dangerous in that it delayed patients from seeking the necessary treatments to their diseases. In short, the product was a scam.
About a decade later, Guerrero started a new company called 6 Degree Nutrition. This time, the main product was NeuroSafe, a drink he claimed could cure concussions in football players. Brady was among the main advocates (ironically, so too was then-Patriot Wes Welker, who has struggled over his career with concussions).
Again, the FTC quickly intervened and 6 Degree Nutrition was shut down, though no law suit was filed because only a handful of athletes had been involved and the product was not yet marketed more widely. But according to Boston Magazine, 6 Degree Nutrition only strengthened the relationship between Brady and Guerrero.
Now, the two are business partners in TB12, and players quoted in both the Times and Sports Illustrated joked that Guerrero knows Brady’s body better than Gisele Bundchen.
The entire Boston Magazine piece is worth a read for its meticulous reporting and detail over the various medical ventures Guerrero has undergone. It’s hard to come away from that and not feel as though the man is a charlatan. And yet, Tom Brady is 5-0, healthy, and marching toward yet another AFC East title and playoff run.