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.

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