10/21 press release from BALCO


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10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby sl » Tue Oct 21, 2003 2:54 pm

Press Release for Victor and BALCO Laboratories
October 21, 2003

In recent days there has been a great deal of media
attention focused upon allegations of illegal activity
and misconduct by Mr. Victor Conte, owner and operator
of a Bay Area laboratory known as BALCO. There
appears to be an ongoing federal grand jury
investigation into these allegations to which the
defense of Mr. Conte is not privy. It is premature
to comment on such investigation at this time. We
must all remember that the grand jury is a one sided
process which is result oriented. The defense has no
role to play in such a process. However, at the end
of the day, the government still retains the burden
proof with regard to any charges contained in any
possible indictment.

Unfortunately, the speculation about what may or not
be contained in a possible indictment appears to be
fueled by leaks of information the source of which is
unknown by the defense. Much of what is contained in
recent media revelations is totally misguided and
untrue and appears to be premised upon information, or
misinformation from sources unknown to the defense
whose reliability is yet to be tested.

First and foremost, Victor Conte is presumed to be
innocent. That presumption stays with Mr. Conte
throughout all of these proceedings and is not
overcome by speculation and allegations from unknown
sources. There may come a time in which the
matters of speculation are tested in the waters of a
jury trial. If and when that happens, the defense
intends to prove Mr. Conte‚s innocence of all
possible charges. Moreover the results of the
defense‚s own investigation have not been revealed to
anyone including the government.

Mr. Conte is a scientist and business man who has
dedicated his life to helping others including high
profile athletes. His company, SNAC System, markets
a nutritional product developed by Mr. Conte known as
ZMA distributed by more than 50 distributors
worldwide. ZMA is a contamination free raw material
manufactured utilizing the highest degree of quality
control and assurance. Mr. Conte wishes to assure his
consumers that such product will continue to be
manufactured and made available to the hundreds of
thousands of ZMA users presently benefiting from such
product.

These are difficult times for Mr. Conte and his family
and we request that to whatever extent possible, that
everyone respect their privacy. Information flowing
from a criminal investigation necessarily takes time
to digest and consider. Please remember, the defense
has not yet begun to fight.

Robert Holley and Troy Ellerman. Legal counsel for
Victor Conte
and BALCO Laboratories.
sl
 
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby tafnut » Tue Oct 21, 2003 3:14 pm

I would like to be the first to say that if and when Mr. Conte goes to trial, he is found not guilty (for whatever reason). I think this one is way too slippery for the prosecution to nail.
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 3:20 pm

Buzz here is that he will be found guilty, but not for any of the reasons that would bring joy to this board (or the sport in general). Rumor has it that the major thrust of the Feds' involvement is income-tax related.

As far as I know, the "similar-substances rule" is fine for WADA and USADA and the rest of the acronym police, but I have to wonder if a substance that's not on any list of proscribed by law stuff would even get prosecuted, let alone generate guilt.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 3:26 pm

>Buzz here is that he will be found guilty, but
>not for any of the reasons that would bring joy
>to this board (or the sport in general). Rumor
>has it that the major thrust of the Feds'
>involvement is income-tax related.

Maybe they know that. If all else fails, nail him for tax evasion. Just ask Al.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 3:36 pm

Mr. Nitti

What the grapevine is saying, just to clarify, is that this is not analagous to Big Al, where they discovered it was easier to go the tax route than to bust the criminal side of the organization. In this instance, it's unclear that there is even any criminal activity going on (other than tax-related).
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 3:53 pm

>Mr. Nitti

What the grapevine is saying, just
>to clarify, is that this is not analagous to Big
>Al, where they discovered it was easier to go the
>tax route than to bust the criminal side of the
>organization. In this instance, it's unclear that
>there is even any criminal activity going on
>(other than tax-related).

I'm sure you're likely right. It's the IRS guys that have made this thing look serious right from the start but you'd think that they could prove that case without hauling 40 athletes down there to testify to the grand jury unless they are going to say that they handed envelopes full of cash over to the Walkin' Fish.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 4:05 pm

>the "similar-substances rule" is fine for
>WADA and USADA and the rest of the acronym
>police, but I have to wonder if a substance
>that's not on any list of proscribed by law stuff
>would even get prosecuted, let alone generate
>guilt.

Two items stated before in other threads:

1. It is not just a "related substance", but an actual anabolic steroid. All anabolic steroids are banned, on the list or not.

2. Possession and/or distribution of anabolic steroids (class III controlled substances?) carries similar penalties to trafficking cocaine.

I can't verify the legal aspect of the second point, but if it is accurate then that answers your initial statement.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 4:38 pm

This story has an actual date when Bonds will testify-Dec 4/03.


http://www.cbc.ca/pcgi-bin/templates/sp ... alco031021
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby bhall » Tue Oct 21, 2003 6:05 pm

Just a clarification- possession charges would be against the distributor. Very unlikely athletes would have a large enough stash to interest prosecutors. Also, it will take some scientific evidence to show that THG is an anabolic steroid according to the law. It isn't a hard thing to show but it has to be proven.
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 6:47 pm

>Also, it will take some scientific
>evidence to show that THG is an anabolic steroid
>according to the law. It isn't a hard thing to
>show but it has to be proven.

It seems to me that, in order to test for the presence of THG, you need to know how it reacts with other chemicals, and to do that you need to know its chemical make-up in the first place.

Besides, I would think Catlin wouldn't bother going out of his way to devise a testing procedure if it WEREN'T a banned substance!

I would suspect the nature of the beast is pretty cut-and-dry at this stage. No doubt the scientific evidence is there.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 8:02 pm

<I would suspect the nature of the
>beast is pretty cut-and-dry at this stage. No
>doubt the scientific evidence is there.>>


The scientific evidence was there for OJ as well; it's the jury that needs to be convinced, not Dr. Catlin.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 21, 2003 8:55 pm

Seems like there's still a lot of confusion in all these discussions as to the distinction between being "banned" by sports authorities and being illegal. Major difference in the eyes of the law, obviously.

>Besides, I would think
>Catlin wouldn't bother going out of his way to
>devise a testing procedure if it WEREN'T a banned
>substance!

I would suspect the nature of the
>beast is pretty cut-and-dry at this stage. No
>doubt the scientific evidence is there.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Dred » Wed Oct 22, 2003 12:57 am

"Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one"

I just wonder what the end of the story will be.

Oh... by the way, will the WADA and the others also retest for NORBOLETHONE? (similar case right? the underworld knows that it was been used the last 6 years by many elite athletes). Because if they do... then we would have a lot to talk about.....
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby BlueCurve » Wed Oct 22, 2003 3:26 am

> Also, it will take some scientific
>evidence to show that THG is an anabolic steroid
>according to the law. It isn't a hard thing to
>show but it has to be proven.

Great point, Ben. If this THG stuff was any good, why didn't we see better times this year and clear group of THG doped athletes dominating performances ?

I'm not saying it makes them any less cheats, etc.,. but it might be much harder to prove it is an anabolic steroid in the absence of Ben Johnson like performances on the track.

Lawyers will be the only winners out of this.
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby bhall » Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:09 am

My point was/is that it isn't a done deal, not that the stuff isn't a steroid. Just that, in court, if a substance isn't on the controlled substance list it has to be shown that it should be a controlled substance (it has the attributes of a steroid, etc.).
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:25 am

>> Also, it will take some scientific
>evidence
>to show that THG is an anabolic
>steroid
>according to the law. It isn't a hard
>thing to
>show but it has to be proven.

Great
>point, Ben. If this THG stuff was any good, why
>didn't we see better times this year and clear
>group of THG doped athletes dominating
>performances ?

A possible answer could be "THG is not the only designer steroid being used and designer steroids have been in use for a decade or more". In other words, you might respond that the 100m lacked high-level talent this year and drug use does not begin or end with THG and is fairly even across the board. Not that I'm making this unsubstantiated claim, Mr. Moderator (I'll just let Don Catlin say so: http://sport.guardian.co.uk/athletics/s ... 25,00.html ).

There were five athletes under 10.00 in this "slow" year, and I only count seven athletes under 10.00 in the entire decade of the 1980s (including Ben Johnson). We may now know more about training and technique and tracks may be faster now, but if the 80s were supposedly full of cheating, what might one assume about the last ten seasons or so?
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 22, 2003 6:19 am

Interesting to see the tone of coverage here changing a bit. This morning's San Jose Mercury News has a huge headline on front page (of whole paper, not sports) which says

Suspected Steroid Lies In Legal Limbo

Note that the word "suspected" has now crept into the equation as more facts become known. I'm not saying it's not a steroid, probably is, but the papers are suddenly realizing they were guilty of some bad science in their rush to judgment.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 22, 2003 7:04 am

>Interesting to see the tone of coverage here
>changing a bit. This morning's San Jose Mercury
>News has a huge headline on front page (of whole
>paper, not sports) which says

Suspected
>Steroid Lies In Legal Limbo

Note that the word
>"suspected" has now crept into the equation as
>more facts become known. I'm not saying it's not
>a steroid, probably is, but the papers are
>suddenly realizing they were guilty of some bad
>science in their rush to judgment.

I disagree -- it's news-speak when things are in the legal sphere. There are lots of examples of individuals who are immediately identified as essentially guilty, but later the words "alleged" or "accused" come into play when the courts become involved.
Guest
 

Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby rmayes » Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:20 am

Great
>point, Ben. If this THG stuff was any good, why
>didn't we see better times this year and clear
>group of THG doped athletes dominating
>performances ?

I've been thinking about the slow performances this summer in the sprints for some time now and the conclusion I've come to is the athletes knew the gig was up very early in the summer. Before this whole scandal became public I found this article http://www.sptimes.com/2003/06/03/Sport ... eady.shtml on the web about them testing a new HGH test at the World Champs and I thought that was the culprit but then this hit the news. It's funny how a lot of things that have been discussed on this board in the last few months seem to be turning into reality: We've talked about busting the people developing/pushing these drugs instead of just busting the users and that seems to be coming to light and there was some talk about testing old samples with new tests as they are developed and that seems to be happening already now too (though they are not going as far back in time as I think many here hoped for). Let's hope the USADA, WADA, IAAF etc keep pushing down this path and create an environment where athletes are not willing to take the risk of cheating. In the meantime it will be real interesting to keep an eye on the performances over the next few years to see what the long term effects this scandal (and hopefully others that will follow as others have pointed out this is not the only designer drug out there no doubt) has on the performances.
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:41 am

Randy's guess that athletes may have known "the gig was up" is insightful. Note that as much as T&F is sweating the results of the investigation, Major League Baseball is even more concerned. For years the players union has held off serious testing, and now a game built on statistics and numbers may be having its record books rewritten by drugged-up players. The damage to the game would dwarf any damage to our sport.

The upside is that if MLB, the NFL, etc. have players implicated (as they apparantly will), they may pony up major $$ to develop testing procedures to prevent further erosion of their trust among fans. T&F will benefit from this inflow of $$ into testing advancements.


Also, if the IRS is invloved it is following the money, not the drugs. Wonder if they are looking at off-the-book sales (no taxes paid) of the drugs. If so, that may be a reason to have the athletes testifying - acknowledging their purchase of products from BALCO, which if not showing on BALCO's books is frowned on by our friends at the IRS.
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Re: 10/21 press release from BALCO

Postby Guest » Thu Oct 23, 2003 7:39 am

Some of the comments on these forums indicate why track and field, as well as other sports, will continue to have problems: This notion that we have to rationalize why people may not be guilty or whether a drug is a steroid or not. Anyone following the performances of some of these athletes must have shaken their heads in wonder from time to time, as new sensation after sensation emerged!
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