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.

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