San Francisco: US sprinter Kelli White and baseball star Barry Bonds are among 40 athletes subpoenaed by a federal grand jury here in a new steroid scandal.
Victor Conte, a nutritionist and president of Balco Laboratories in suburban Burlingame, told the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle that his top clients are being asked to testify about tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).
The US anti-doping agency revealed Thursday that the substance, previously unable to be discovered in testing, was found in several athletes who competed in June’s US national meet, a qualifying event for August’s world championships in Paris.
Terry Madden, chief executive of the US anti-doping agency, described Conte and Balco as being part of an international drug cheat conspiracy. “I know of no other bust that involved anabolic steroids with this number,” Madden said.
White confirmed she was subpoenaed but denied a role in the escalating designer steroid probe. “I really don’t have anything to do with that situation,” she said. “That’s not me.” White could lose two gold medals and $120,000 in prize money from the world titles after testing positive for the mild stimulant modafinil, a drug for narcolepsy, at the world meet.
Balco’s former medical director, Brian Goldman, prescribed modafil, which White also told the Washington Post that she tested positive for at the US meet, adding that she expects both positives to be investigated soon.
Conte told the newspapers that seven American football players and five major league baseball players were among those compelled to testify in hearings here that are expected to begin next week.
“I do know that Barry has received a subpoena,” Conte wrote in an e-mail to the Chronicle. “There are at least seven NFL players that I know of, plus at least four professional baseball players that have received a subpoena.
“Most of the other athletes are from track and field. My understanding is that 40 elite Olympic and professional athletes have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury.”
Federal agents took medical records of Conte’s clients in a September 3 raid on his lab. San Francisco giants Slugger Bonds, baseball’s one-season home run king, and Gridiron star Bill Romanowski of Oakland are on Conte programmes.