Friday, July 15, 2005

BALCO Founder to Plead

We reported here that things were not looking good for Victor Conte, founder of BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative).  So it is not surprising to see the Wall Street Jrl reporting here that Victor Conte will be entering a plea. He is scheduled to plead guilty today to "steroid distribution and money laundering."  Stay tuned.



UPDATE (7/15): A report in the San Francisco Chronicle (here) states that Conte's plea deal will have him serve four months in prison and an additional four months of home confinement, assuming U.S. District Judge Susan Illston accepts the plea and proposed sentence.  Conte largely convicted himself this past December when he gave an interview to 20/20 stating that he manufactured and distributed steroids to a number of athletes, so the plea is no great surprise (see earlier post here).  The Chronicle report also indicates that fellow defendant Greg Anderson is considering a plea agreement that will require him to serve three months in prison; Anderson was the personal trainer for Barry Bonds.  The interesting question now, if the plea agreements go through, is whether either Conte or Anderson will provide information that could be used against any of the athletes who testified before the grand jury about their use of steroids provided by BALCO.  Bonds, for instance, claims that he did not know he was receiving steroids from Anderson, and former Olympic sprinter Marion Jones denied ever using steroids, despite Conte's claims to the contrary.  Then again, for the U.S. Attorney's Office, would you want to build your case around Victor Conte? (ph)

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