Posted On:2/13/2004 9:15am
Style: Shi Ja Quan
Bonds' trainer charged in steroid scandal
By CURT ANDERSON -- Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Barry Bonds' personal trainer, a track coach and top executives of a San Francisco-area nutritional supplements lab were charged Thursday with running an illegal drug distribution operation.
The 42-count federal indictment returned by a grand jury in San Francisco and obtained by The Associated Press alleges the scheme provided anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, EPO and other drugs to major league baseball and NFL players, as well as track and field stars.
None of the athletes was charged and none was named in the court documents.
A news conference was scheduled for later Thursday at Justice Department headquarters to announce the indictments. Attorney General John Ashcroft was expected to be joined by Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Mark McClellan, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson and California law enforcement officials.
The indictment names as defendants Victor Conte Jr., the president and chief executive officer of the Bay Area Lab Cooperative, or BALCO, and its vice president, James J. Valente. Also indicted were Bonds' personal trainer, Greg F. Anderson, and Remi Korchemny, coach of world champion sprinter Kelli White of the United States and European sprint champion Dwain Chambers of Britain. White and Chambers have flunked drug tests, as have other athletes coached by Korchemny.
The charges include conspiracy to distribute steroids, possession of human growth hormone, misbranding drugs with intent to defraud and money laundering.
An affidavit from an IRS agent who investigated the case cites e-mails from Conte to unidentified athletes indicating that the scheme was aimed at fooling drug-testing programs used by pro sports leagues, the Olympics and other competitions.
According to the indictment, the four were involved in the scheme between December 2001 and Sept. 3, 2003, in which steroids were distributed to athletes on six different occasions.
One steroid, called "The Cream," included a substance that masked an athlete's use of the drug during testing. Another, called "The Clear," was sold to the athletes as a substance that would provide steroidlike effects without causing a positive drug test.
The defendants allegedly hid their activities by using false names on mailing labels and by referring to the drugs using a coded shorthand. In addition, authorities say the men provided the athletes with cover stories.
The defendants each face long prison terms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if convicted on all counts. Conte's attorney, Troy Ellerman, said the charges came as no surprise.
"We've expected it. It's no secret they were going to indict him," Ellerman said.
A parade of top athletes, ranging from Bonds to Olympic track star Marion Jones to boxer Shane Mosley, appeared before the grand jury probing BALCO and Anderson from late October to mid-December.
Five track and field athletes face two-year suspensions for use of one substance, tetrahydragestrinone, or THG. Four Oakland Raiders football players also flunked tests for the steroid, which was unmasked by anti-doping officials last summer.
The steroid was discovered only after an unidentified track coach gave the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency a syringe containing a substance that ultimately was identified as THG. Conte has denied being the source of the steroid.
BALCO contends it takes blood and urine samples from athletes and then prescribes a regimen of supplements to compensate for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Bonds and other top athletes, such as Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski, have been boosters of Conte and BALCO. Bonds has been a client since before the 2001 season, when he hit a record 73 home runs.
Bonds, 39, has been working for years with Anderson, a boyhood friend.
"I visit BALCO every three to six months. They check my blood to make sure my levels are where they should be. Maybe I need to eat more broccoli than I normally do. Maybe my zinc and magnesium intakes need to increase," Bonds said in last June's issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine.
"Victor will call me to make sure I'm taking my supplements, and my trainer Greg will sit near my locker and stare at me if I don't begin working out right away. I have these guys pushing me."
Conte is no stranger to the spotlight.
When four separate tests before the 2000 Sydney Olympics showed U.S. shot putter C.J. Hunter had 1,000 times the allowable amount of the steroid nandrolone in his system, Conte took the blame, claiming the positive tests were the result of contaminated iron supplements he had supplied to Hunter, Jones' former husband.
Posted On:2/13/2004 11:39am
Style: Mixed Martial Arts
Wow. I'm not suprised, I knew Bonds was a phony. Bonds was always a very good ballplayer, but his game was getting better and better way after he should have hit his peak, age-wise. He was just TOO good to be true, not unlike Mark McGwire(sp?).
Steroid abuse is getting way too out of hand. I can't say that I totally blame them though, there is alot of pressure in major league sports. Unfortunately, they're going to be paying for it with their kidneys and whatnot a few years down the line.
Posted On:2/13/2004 11:44am
Dude, if you actually knew HOW prevelant steroids are ALL over, you would freak.
And I am talking about "regular joe's" also.
Posted On:2/13/2004 11:58am
Ronin, I don't even think that I want to know how many out there are on roids. I've been lifting hard, busting myself, for about a year now and I'm still a long way from my goals, but I feel so cheated sometimes that these guys take the easy way out and pop a few pills along with pumping the iron and gain awesome mass.
That's partly why I wanted to get into this art, as opposed to some of the mainstream american sports. A guy in decent shape and good technique can prevail over the steroid induced junkie... I hope. I now realize that NHB is most likely FULL of steroid users, which totally sucks. :(
Posted On:2/13/2004 12:04pm
When I bounced, out of the 15 bouners, there were 3, including me that did NOT do 'roids.
Posted On:2/13/2004 12:34pm
Jesus. Well hey, grats for not giving in.. have to respect that. Hopefully these guys have heavy consciences.
Badness will not be rewarded
Posted On:2/13/2004 12:44pm
If you really want to know something about steroids, ask PeeDee.
1% Shark is better than you.
Posted On:2/15/2004 4:18pm
The only thing that shocks me are that people continue to be surprised when it is "revealed" that pro athletes ARE on steriods!
Posted On:2/17/2004 10:52am
I'm not really suprised, I think that I was just in denial up until now.
Posted On:2/17/2004 11:07am
If people knew HOW MANY average joe's use steroids, then they would really freak !!
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