Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jury Convicts Graham on 1 Count

Federal prosecutors went 1 for 3 in their efforts to convict Trevor Graham for lying to federal agents. This is the second conviction that went to trial relating to the BALCO investigation. Next up: Barry Bonds.

The jury convicted Graham for lying to federal agents regarding having only one phone conversation with Angel Guillermo Heredia, a key witness for the prosecution. They were deadlocked for the other two charges lying about setting up athletes with drugs and about meeting Heredia.

The jury was concerned with Heredia's credibility. The jury foreman, Frank Stapleton, 59, was one of the holdouts on the two counts. Stapleton, speaking for himself said, "The government was bound and determined to make an example of the defendant. To achieve their goal, they felt it necessary to do a deal with a true devil, an untruthful drug dealer and illegal immigrant who is walking the streets of America, free and presumably still plying his trade with impunity. I hope this verdict satisfies the Justice Department’s lust for blood in this matter and that there will be no retrial.”

TG, you dodged a major bullet having a true American such as Mr. Stapleton on the jury. The jury somehow ignored the photo of you and Heredia together and Heredia's testimony being corroborated by other athletes. As for Stapleton, save the drama and your political commentary for the coffee shop or the next cocktail party. It would have been interesting to be in the jury room and see how Stapleton argued that TG never met Heredia despite photographic evidence stating otherwise. Now that would be a story for a cocktail party.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Prosecution Rests in Graham Trial

The prosecution has rested their case against the track coach Trevor Graham on Thursday after five athletes testified against him. The evidence does not bode well for the sport of track and field nor for Mr. Graham.

On Wednesday, Angel Guillermo Heredia, testified that the sprinter Antonio Pettigrew obtained PED's over a four year period during which time he competed on a gold medal team and a record-setting 4x400 meter relay team. Heredia provided FedEx labels addressed to Graham and Pettigrew as well as Western Union wire transfers from Pettigrew. During his testimony, Heredia said that he was asked if "Marion Jones could inject three drugs at once because she 'was afraid of needles.'"

During cross-examination, Graham's lead attorney, William P. Keane, tripped up Heredia when Keane questioned him regarding specifics of some of the FedEx labels addressed to Graham. One label appeared to be in handwriting other than Heredia; he claimed it was his. Two other labels were questioned because they were signed for by people other than Graham; Heredia speculated that FedEx clerks signed the labels.

After Heredia, Duane Ross, a former professional sprinter and hurdler, testified that Graham suggested he use testosterone and led him to Heredia in 1998 & 1999. "He said that was his guy, and he was cool," Ross said, adding that he turned into an "outcast" in Graham's camp for his refusal to use PED's.

Prosecutors then played tapes that were previously mentioned in an earlier post.

TG, Wednesday was another bad day. Heredia played his audio tapes, provided Western Union receipts, FedEx shipping labels and his testimony was later corroborated by other witnesses. Duane Ross told the jury that you said Heredia was "cool" and that Ross became an "outcast" because he didn't take the spike...not good.

Thursday's developments had Antonio Pettigrew take the stand and corroborate what Heredia testified. He acknowledged he used PED's from 1997 to 2001. Pettigrew said, "I'm in it now, and I have to face the consequences." Pettigrew has never tested positive for PED's, but said he used HGH to become stronger and used EPO to improve endurance at Graham's suggestion.

His admission has triggered an antidoping case that could cost him and his teammates the gold medals from the 2000 Olympics and the 2001 world championship. Jim Scherr, chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee said that if an athlete knowingly and purposefully cheated, the medals won by the team are tarnished and should be returned.

Stephen A. Starks, legal affairs director for the United States Anti-Doping Agency took notes during his testimony. Later in the day, the agency commented that they would pursue all potential doping violations based on the evidence and will continue to work with the federal investigators. Pettigrew's admission would fall under "non analytical positive" and constitute a violation similar to what happened to Marion Jones.

Pettigrew is an assistant track coach at the University of North Carolina, a former officer of USA Track & Field's Athletes Advisory Committee and a former athlete representative to the USOC. Obviously, Pettigrew should resign immediately, but will probably force UNC to terminate him. I'm sure the USA Track & Field's Athletes Advisory Committee was not looking for Pettigrew's expertise to avoid doping detection.

The sport of track and field takes a big hit when Pettigrew's Olympic relay team is examined. His Olympic relay teammates consisted of Michael Johnson, Angelo Taylor, Jerome Young and the twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison. The Harrisons have been banned for doping that occurred not in the Olympic year. Young previously lost his gold medal as an alternate in that race and was banned for life for two doping offenses. Young's teammates were allowed to keep their medals because the Court of Arbitration for Sport found that Young did not dope during the Olympics and did not run in the final.

Of the six members of that 2000 relay team, four have been found to have used PED's. 66% of the relay team was hopped up on roids at one time during their careers. Should the public believe that the other two members of the team, Michael Johnson and Angelo Taylor: never used PED's during their careers, were unaware of their teammates doping or that they knew about the doping, but took the high road and never were tempted to dope?

Another member of the relay team testified on Thursday, Jerome Young. He admitted to doping from 1999 to 2003 and that Graham provided PED's and showed how to inject them.

Prosecution rested its case and the defense advised that they may call only one witness when the trial resumes on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

13% of Sports Coverage Roid Related

Today, May 22, 2008, the NYT devoted 13% of their Sports articles to steroid related topics.

Most professional sports leagues always state that there is not a problem in their league; the cheaters are in the other sports. Today, two leagues, the NFL and MLB were linked with some of their athletes allegedly using PED's while track & field was further being disgraced by new developments in the Trevor Graham trial.

When will roids in sports be taken seriously? Does half the articles in the Sports section need to be about PED's before the general public even raises an eyebrow? Do we need articles implicating every sport: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA. The reason why PED's are so rampant is because they work; athlete's wouldn't use them otherwise.

The NFL article referenced a steroid dealer, David Jacobs, who provided documentary evidence to NFL officials that implicated several players with the use of PED's. Jacobs has said he provided two players with roids and HGH and that these players would then supply others. Previously, the NYT reported that prosecutors reliing on information provided by Jacobs, investigated Matt Lehr, a lineman for the New Orleans Saints, and suspectied that he was distributing PED's.

MLB's coverage was an update on the Roger Clemens perjury investigation. Federal agents interviewed Kelly Blair, the owner of 1-on-1 Elite Personal Fitness in Pasadena, TX. The agents inquired whether Blair ever provided PED's to Clemens and his relationship with other players. Blair said he has never met Clemens. The feds have been focusing their investigation in the Houston area looking to link Clemens with PED's after 2001.

The Trevor Graham case is unfolding like a hot new HBO drama; you can't wait to get to the next episode. I'll recap the events at court from Wednesday through the end of the week later, but Wednesday's teaser had Trevor Graham, the coach accused of lying to federal agents speaking his mind. On a recorded conversations after December 2005: referring to the investigators: "I told them nothing, nothing." Another conversation has Graham tell the confessed drug dealer turned cooperating witness, Angel Guillermo Heredia, "it would be stupid, stupid" for Heredia to talk about their activity.

Trevor, in the future, you might want to avoid repeating the most incriminating word of the audiotapes. Telling the authorities "nothing" implies you were hiding something; saying it would be "stupid" to talk about their activity implies that you were involved in illegal activity which you could not discuss freely. This does not look good for you, TG.

Today is epic: three articles, three different sports which if the public is paying attention illustrates how pervasive PED's are in all sports. Instead most readers probably skipped these articles and went straight to the Yankee box score to see who hit a HGH aided HR. This message is not being skipped by the youth.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Track Coach Pointed Out

It's rude to point. If you find yourself in court and you're being pointed at, that means you are accussed of doing something wrong.

Trevor Graham was pointed at and identified by two witnesses yesterday who accused the track coach of lying. One witness was Jeff Novitzky, the federal agent who is the face of the BALCO investigation. Novitzky said Graham misled him about his involvement with PED's. "Telling the truth would have helped tremendously. We were really thinking and hoping that Mr. Graham would be the link that would really advance that investigation," Novitzky said.

The other witness to point at Mr. Graham was Angel Guillermo Heredia, who I've posted previously as being a confessed drug distributor who is flying without a net. He has been cooperating with the government since December 2005, but he was not given immunity for testifying. Heredia, by cooperating is trying to minimize any charges against him or a possible deportation following the trial. Bold move Angel; not given immunity and facing possible charges and or deportation, I hope you are being truthful.

Heredia, while on the stand, in stark contrast to Jeff Novitzky, was visibly nervous and was admonished by the judge to limit answers to yes or no on several occasions. Previously Novitzky testified that Graham "had talked to Heredia only once and 'never ever met him in person.'"

Heredia's testimony contradicted this account. Heredia described how Graham and two athletes drove from Raleigh, NC to Laredo, TX in December 1996 to meet Heredia and take a trip to Mexico to acquire drugs. Heredia had pictures to prove that they met. Heredia went on to supply PED's and advice to Graham-coached athletes from that initial meeting until the summer of 2000. The PED's included: steroids, HGH, EPO and other drugs. Heredia testified that the athletes that used the PED's were: Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Jerome Young and Antonio Pettigrew. This was the first time Pettigrew has been implicated in the use of PED's.

During the opening statements of the trial, the game plans of the prosecution and the defense were laid out. The defense was going to try to discredit Heredia and question his motives. The defense also appeared to invoke the sympathy card: portraying Graham as "the original Balco whistle blower" (which he was) and a "convenient scapegoat" for disgruntled former athletes. Graham's lawyer, William P. Keane, also went with the "misspoke" card when he denied ever meeting Heredia.

This is the second case arising from the BALCO investigation to go to trial; eight other people have plead guilty to various crimes while the cyclist Tammy Thomas was found guilty of perjury.

"Graham told agents he had not met Heredia, had not spoken with him on the phone since 1997 and had not taken his drugs for athletes or referred athletes to him."

The prosecution told the jury that the evidence would show Graham referred athletes to Heredia for drugs and they received drugs from Heredia to provide to others. The prosecution also would show the jury records of more than 100 phone calls between the two men and several secretly recorded conversations in 2006.

Trevor, I hope you have that ace up your sleeve, because the way things are playing out right now, you're going to need a lot more than sympathy to get an acquittal. Never met him, but there are photos showing otherwise; never spoke on the phone after 1997, yet the prosecution will show more than 100 phone records and secretly recorded conversations from 2006.

TG, one question, were you getting your legal advice from a disciple of Rusty Hardin? If so, that is money not well spent. You should have played the game most of the other folks wrapped up in BALCO did...plead guilty.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Track & Field Trial Ready to Commence; Expect More Names

Trevor Graham trained a dozen athletes that made it to the Olympics in 2000, when his Sprint Capitol USA training camp in Raleigh, N.C., dominated track and field. The most famous client, Marion Jones, won five medals. In the following years, two of Graham’s most successful athletes, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin, went on to become the World's Fastest Man by setting world records in the 100 meters.

All of those sprinters mentioned and at least seven other Graham clients admitted to using PED's.

Those glory days are long gone as Graham now faces possible jail time on three felony counts of lying to a federal agent. His trial was scheduled to begin today in United States District Court in San Francisco. Several elite athletes are expected to testify against him. It was Graham who also sent the syringe of the Clear to the anti-doping authorities that blew the whistle on BALCO and started this federal investigation.

The charges allege Graham lied about his connections with a confessed drug adviser and distributor, who will be the star witness for the prosecution. I'm sure Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery are looking forward to getting a temporary release from prison in order to testify in this case.

The witness, Angel Guillermo Heredia, 33, has been assisting in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative investigation since 2005, but has no formal cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors and faces the possibility of being charged later.

“When you tell the truth, there’s not anything to be worried about,” Heredia said in a telephone interview Friday. “We’ll see what’s going to happen."

The counts stem from a 2004 interview where Graham was lying. The lies include: denying meeting Heredia in person, talking to him on the telephone after 1997, or distributing drugs and referring athletes to Heredia for drugs. Graham was only charged for lying to a federal agent; there were no drug related offenses.

As part of the evidence, prosecutors have a photograph of Graham and Heredia together, phone records and seven elite athletes who are expected to testify that Graham gave them drugs or sent them to Heredia for drugs.

Graham told The Washington Post last month that his trial would “embarrass the United States, and it’s going to embarrass these athletes” on the eve of another Olympics.

Heredia has already said his drugs helped Maurice Greene and two female sprinters win medals at the 2004 Olympics. He previously showed The New York Times a $10,000 bank transaction from Greene, who has denied the charges and remains an ambassador for track’s international governing body. The other two sprinters have not been publicly identified.

This does not look good for Trevor Graham. It's ironic that the man who brought down BALCO, and in the process started cleaning up sports (to a certain extent) has a good chance of doing time. Photo shop is not a viable defense to combat the picture, but at least the public will find out more track stars were really cheaters as the trial gets under way.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Eight Belles Negative for Roids

Now that the test results came back negative for Eight Belles, we can breathe a sigh of a relief and know that the sport is clean. Well, not exactly. It turns out, Eight Bells was the only horse tested for steroids.

A closer reading of the article states that all horses from the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks including winner Big Brown, tested negative for all banned substances, but that only Eight Belles was tested for steroids. What's interesting about that statement: it's a tacit admission that roids are not considered banned substances.

After Big Brown's easy victory at the Preakness, perhaps Eight Belles should have been on monthly injections of Winstrol like Big Brown was, as mentioned here last week. Winstrol might have given the win to Eight Belles then; it's certainly been beneficial to Big Brown.

WFM Sentenced to 4 Years for Check Fraud...Not Looking Good for Selling H

A former World's Fastest Man (WFM) has slowed considerably over the years and will be slowing even more after recent events. Tim Montgomery, who set the world record in the 100 meters in 2002 with a time of 9.78 seconds now finds himself sharing a room with pedophiles and murderers. He's currently residing in a Virginia jail.

All of his performances after March 31, 2001, including the world record performance, were wiped from the books, and he was banned from track for two years, for doping linked to the investigation of BALCO. Even though Montgomery never tested positive for drugs, he decided to retire after the ban was imposed.

And on Friday, a federal judge sentenced the former track star to nearly four years in prison for dealing in bad checks. This was the same scheme that currently has Marion Jones serving time and ultimately led her to admit to using PED's.

"The gold medal, all those people cheering, that was part of another world," he said. "In jail, my status is gone."

I would hope your status is gone in jail. What, were you expecting raucous applause when you arrived first in line for breakfast? Your status could be gone for much longer.

Judge Kenneth Karas also warned Montgomery, 33, that the evidence against him "does not appear to be flimsy" in the ongoing case in Virginia, where he is accused of selling heroin. A conviction there would carry a minimum mandatory five-year sentence.

Montgomery told the judge he had let other people run his life, right down to deciding what to eat for breakfast. And his lawyer, Timothy Heaphy, said Montgomery had been led astray by, among others, track superstar Marion Jones.

The check case also ensnared Montgomery's former coach, gold medalist Steve Riddick, and agent, Charles Wells. Both pleaded guilty. All told, this group was planning on depositing $5 million worth of false checks.

But the judge said others were not to blame in the check case.

"`You should commit bank fraud' is not the same as `You should eat Wheaties,"' Karas said. "There is not a single shred of evidence here that this was anyone else's fault."

I agree with the judge on this one here. Whenever it hits the fan, the first thing most people do is look for someone to point the finger at. Tim is pointing the finger at everyone in his circle. Everyone loved you when you were hopped up on roids breaking records and becoming the WFM, but now you need to face the fact that no one put the proverbial gun to your head and made you pass bogus checks or sell $9,000 of heroin. At some point Tim, you have to take responsibility for your actions, all of them.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Big Brown Trainer Admits to Roiding Horses

The trainer for the Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, Rick Dutrow Jr., has admitted to legally using the steroid Winstrol on his horses. This is the same steroid that Barry Bonds was allegedly using per "Game of Shadows". Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel also confirmed this story on the program that aired on May 13th.

Per the article from, the Feb. 27th House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection's hearing on PED's was uneventful until Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) shed some light on the current situation in horse racing. Whitfield advised that rampant drug use requires a universal drug-testing program to eradicate doping in the sport.

"Trainers and vets make the decisions, and the horse cannot say no," Whitfield said. "England, for instance, banned steroids in racing over 30 years ago." He also said steroids are contributing to the injuries of the racehorses. Eight Belles broke both front ankles and had to be euthanized after finishing the Kentucky Derby.

Dr. George Maylin, the director of the NY State Racing and Wagering Board drug testing and research program at Cornell University, is optimistic that the sport can clean up on its own. I do not share the doctor's optimism. It was this same optimistic thought that has baseball still backpedalling from their Congressional hearings in 2005.

As for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., he gives his horses Winstrol on the 15th of every month. If authorities advise the trainer he cannot use the steroid, he'll cease using it. Dutrow does believe doping is going on in the sport. "I don't know how but I'm sure it happens every day. Some people just want to make their horses run faster."

Mr. Dutrow, sure you don't know how the doping is taking place. Abusing steroids, such as Winstrol, would be considered doping. It's comforting to know that the MLB home run champ and the Kentucky Derby champ are roiding up on Winstrol.

Good luck to you and Big Brown at the Preakness....Barry will be pulling for you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bonds Hits a Triple

Barry Bonds is back and he just crushed a triple! Unfortunately for Mr. Bonds, the triple did not occur on a baseball field, but rather on a federal indictment. His indictment tripled in counts from 5 to 15 on Tuesday. 14 counts of making false statements to a grand jury during the Balco investigation and 1 count of obstruction of justice. The good news for Barry about the new indictment: no new lies were alleged.

The indictment had to be rewritten because the original indictment lumped multiple alleged lies into single charges. This case still revolves around the fact whether Bonds lied to the grand jury that his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, never supplied him with PED's (roids or HGH). It has been alleged that Bonds was on a roiding program that consisted of the designer steroids the cream and clear, clomid, Mexican beans and beef roids.

Greg Anderson is the type of buddy everyone should have. This guy went to jail twice rather than testify to the grand jury relating to these issues. If any of you have a secret and don't want anyone to know about it, tell Greg Anderson. I'm not sure what he's charging for this service.

Bonds is currently in the on-deck circle awaiting his next court appearance scheduled for June 6th.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

MLB Sports Talk: Where's Barry?

This past weekend a nationally syndicated radio program came on the airwaves talking about MLB. Instead of talking about the beauty of the season: the surprising Cardinals, Rays, the tanking Yankees, or an obese Andruw Jones just to name a few topics, the host decided to lead with: where is Barry Bonds?

Along with laying out Barry's statistics and the possibility of collusion among the owners for not wanting to sign the biggest clubhouse pariah, the host also mentioned the fact that Mike Piazza was looking for work.

Barry Bonds, noted in the Mitchell Report and the subject of the book "Game of Shadows" is facing a perjury trial in California pertaining to his use of PED's. By lumping Piazza with Bonds, the host, whether intentional or not, was subtly linking Piazza to PED's. Piazza was not in the Mitchell Report and has not been linked to PED's. However, Piazza held a press conference in NY to announce not that he is a juicer, but that he's heterosexual.

Piazza was pivotal to the extent sports can heal the pain inflicted in the NY region after September 11th. In the first Met home game after the attacks, Piazza hit a home run that was reminiscent of a time when a home run meant something in a game.

Instead of focusing on the product on the field, this radio host is focusing on an unemployed player who shot himself full of products. Let's stop painting everyone with a broad brush before Julio Franco's retirement starts to get questioned.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Horse To Be Tested For Steroids

After the tragedy that befell Eight Belles, the runner up in last week's Kentucky Derby, the trainer of the horse ordered drug testing as a part of the autopsy to dispel any notion that the horse was 'roided up.

Larry Jones, the trainer, "guaranteed" that there were never any steroids on the horse. Jones was responding to the criticism that the horse was so large.

I don't know if there is roid testing in horse racing. If there isn't testing, there should be. Just as Larry, you better be right in your guarantee or your backpedaling act will be more entertaining to watch than the Preakness.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Details Emerge from Canseco & the Feds

New details are emerging from Jose Canseco's meeting two weeks ago with Jeff Novitzky and other federal investigators, per the NYT. The meeting was a result of the perjury investigation of Roger Clemens. One of the details, besides whether current and former MLB'ers were shooting roids, revolved around whether or not Canseco sought money from various players before the release of his latest book, "Vindicated".

Previously it was reported in January by the NYT that Canseco sought money from only Magglio Ordóñez in order not to be in the book. Major League Baseball and the agent for Detroit Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordóñez alerted the FBI last summer of Ordóñez’s concerns that Canseco was seeking to get him to invest in a movie project in exchange for not naming him in the upcoming book. Per Ordóñez's request, federal investigators did not open an investigation. Needless to say, in "Vindicated", Ordóñez takes the spike from Jose. Ordóñez has declined to comment on any of the allegations in the matter.

As for A-Rod, Novitzky asked about "Max" aka Joseph Dion, the trainer Jose introduced A-Rod to and allegedly started him on the program. Dion has denied that claim and has said A-Rod did not use roids while the two were working together. Novitzky inquired about three other trainers from FL. Canseco said he did not know any of the three; A-Rod knows and is friends with two of the three. A-Rod again claimed that he has nothing to hide.

Canseco's lawyer, Greg S. Emerson, became concerned when Novitzky advised that he heard that Canseco had approached a number of players about investing in a movie project as Canseco was working on his second book about baseball and performance-enhancing drugs.

Emerson believes investigators may be declaring “open season on the messenger,” meaning Canseco.

“I don’t know if that is happening, but that is what it looks like is happening and I don’t like that one bit,” he said.

Allegedly shaking down only one guy is just not plausible for Jose. With all your post career baseball moves you've made, with the exception of blowing the cover of the roids era, you would not shake down just one former teammate. Where there's smoke, there's fire and every cliche you want to throw at it. You knew if one guy bit and paid for this "movie project", others would do the same. I can't wait to get some popcorn and see what flick the the guys who didn't want to be ratted out financed.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Former WFM Now Dealing H

No sooner than I shed some light on what The World's Fastest Man is code for, we have a former WFM in the news...for all the wrong reasons.

Tim Montgomery was arrested Wednesday, April 30th, accused of dealing more than 100 grams of heroin in Virginia over the past year. The timing could not be any worse for the sprinter. He is soon to be sentenced in a scheme to cash millions of dollars in stolen or forged checks. Montgomery’s former companion, Marion Jones, is already in the hole serving a six-month prison term for lying to investigators about her role in the check scam and using performance-enhancing drugs.

Tim, I doubt you'll be able to outrun the feds on this one. I don't get what you were you were trying to accomplish by writing bogus checks with Marion: relive the thrill of pulling a fast one on an unsuspecting public similar to what you and Marion accomplished when you were peaking on PED's? But Tim, selling H is too low for a disgraced former WFM to fall. Ben Johnson thinks you've given all the WFM a black eye and is willing to permanently ban you from the club.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

FBI Question "Male" Associate of Clemens

Most of the media has been concerned with who Roger Clemens has been cavorting with, but an interesting story was reported in today's NYT. The article stated that an owner of a weight-loss facility in Houston was interviewed by federal agents investigating the Rocket for perjury.

Shaun Kelley, the owner of Shaun Kelley Weight Loss in Houston, was given a polygraph by the FBI. “They asked me if I’ve ever given him human growth hormone or performance-enhancing drugs and I said no,” Kelley said. “I passed it, Bro, trust me.”

In March, the NYT reported that federal investigators were questioning former employees of the facility regarding Kelley.

Shaun Kelley for your sake, I hope you passed it too...bro.