Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 36

Story by Eric.

This is the 36th submission in a long series about Marion Jones, a former elite sprinter who won honour and earned endorsements, fame and fortune by method of fraud. This series introduces Victor Conte into the picture.

Keane and Graham decided the best course of action was to argue points the prosecution made rather than call their own witnesses, and, on Tuesday, 2008-May-27 – when court resumed, they allowed the prosecution to rest its case.

Keane stated during his closing argument that Graham could only be found guilty if his statements made to Novitzky were “material to an ongoing investigation,” or the BALCO investigation. Keane said that because Heredia was not charged in the case, Graham's statements about Heredia were of no consequential value to an investigation of him or BALCO.

The prosecution, in its closing arguments, stated that Graham had, in fact, lied to keep investigators away from both him and Heredia. Heredia, Assistant U.S. Attorney Finigan stated, had been pinned as a drug connection with certain athletes, and speaking with Graham about Heredia was germane to the investigation.

Presiding Judge handed down a decision on the case of The United States v. Trevor Graham on 2008-October-21. After Graham having billed this one as a trial for the ages, with more revelations and skeletons to be revealed from behind closed doors, Graham received the lightest punishment of anyone yet involved in this case from within the athletics circle.

Trevor Graham, whose family has supported him throughout this trial and has been in his corner every step of the way, will have plenty of time to thank them as he spends the next 12 months in home confinement, and pay a $5.000 fine back to the government for his part played in the BALCO case. Graham, unlike Marion Jones and Victor Conte, will spend neither a minute nor a moment behind enemy lines – also known as prison.

Enter Victor Conte.

There are a lot of adjectives I’ve heard folks use to describe Victor Conte.

Words like “snake-oil salesman”, purported “liar” and “saviour of track and field” have all come back to recollection from the years since I’ve heard Conte’s name mentioned with nutrition products. I tend to describe Conte with the following Italian proverb: “He is not an honest man who has burned his tongue and doesn't tell the company the soup is hot.”

Conte may be a lot of things to a lot of people, however, truth be told, he is also a criminal – a man who was charged with 42 counts of steroid distribution and money laundering in connection with BALCO investigations, and convicted on two of those allegations thanks in large part to Trevor Graham.

Conte’s historical athletics persuasion has been beset with corruption and controversy, and he has left an indelible stain on the fabric upon which this sport has been carefully knit together despite his attempts to turn over a new leaf and help stop what he allowed to continue in motion when he joined in the spreading of performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.

Conte's back in business with a connection of “people who have won medals at World Championships and other elite people who have won at the same level in other sports – it’s best for them and me to keep their names out of it.”[1]

Calling Victor Conte the “mastermind” behind the deception created by the undetectable drugs known as THG and “the clear” – two drugs which were discovered after Trevor Graham provided a syringe to the UCLA laboratory Dr. Don Catlin previously managed – would feed an ego so consumed with self-admiration, that the heavens above would not be wide, nor deep, nor vast enough to contain this man’s sense of accomplishment in trifling those attempting to stay at a pace consistent – or better – than the drug cheats, and those who help them get away with it.

Graham, as you well know, turned in the drug for reasons understood to be anything but “doing the right thing”.

Conte says he was driven to create these drug regimes for athletes not by money but because of “the challenge,”[2] and further stated to the world:

Running a successful doping operation “was about much more than developing drugs and methods. It was a network of people; to win any war, you need intelligence. I had access to information from people that were inside the labs. I would find out what they were doing in terms of testing designer steroids.

“I know of an accredited lab in Europe that had an employee who was coming in at night and doing prescreening of urine samples for athletes – to help these athletes beat tests and monitor clearing times. What I’m saying is, it’s not about the drugs, it’s about knowing who’s doing what, when and where.”[3]

Conte made millions off of his legal nutritional products before turning over to the lure of developing performance-enhancing drugs, and following his bust and resurrection, Conte is back at it again.

Conte’s tongue could appear parched from inconsistencies and deception surrounding the BALCO testimony, but one component of truth remains through it all: The reality about Marion Jones’s steroids regime – a fact which took four years to prove – was verified as being authentic.

One consistent factor with Victor Conte’s testimony prior to – and after – Marion Jones’s self-confession was that Conte had asserted her guilt ever since the BALCO testimony began in 2003.

Marion Jones’s attorneys had categorically denied those accusations, but were not able to discredit Conte to the desired extent to which they had planned.

An excerpt of their attempts to paint Conte into a liar and as an un-trustworthy person unable to deliver the truth is found below.

Victor Conte is someone who is under federal indictment, facing serious prison time and has a record of issuing a host of contradictory, inconsistent statements,” Nichols said in a statement.

Victor Conte's allegations are not true and the truth will be revealed for the world to see as the legal process moves forward.”[4]

Conte was a suspect under federal indictment, however he was not facing serious prison time as Nichols suggested.

Legal experts – peers in the field to Nichols – anticipated Conte not receiving more than two years in prison if he were to be convicted of all charges in a trial.

Concerning Conte’s evidences of contradictions he is stated to have made, could not Nichols have provided common people following the events an idea of how far, how wide and how deeply wild and contradictory Conte was alleged to have been in his statements of athletes and their drugs-usage – particularly Marion Jones, and his subsequent denials of guilt.

Furthermore, with respect to revelations of the truth, was any unfavourable evidence ever uncovered to discredit the claims Conte was making, namely that Marion Jones was taking performance-enhancing drugs which Conte, himself, provided to her and witnessed her use?

Conte would not have been impeached as a witness based on what Nichols deemed to have been inconsistent testimony, because Conte did not make any variable statements under oath. Had Conte been forced to make statements under oath, he would have stated the same ones to which he made outside of the courtroom, namely that Marion Jones was, indeed, a doped athlete during her career – a fact to which she finally admitted and had been charged and found guilty to a certain degree.

Conte, when one listens to his voice, sounds sincere, seasoned, and a man with a story he’d like to tell calmly and collectively. A challenge facing the jury of public opinion is determining if Conte, despite his disfigured tongue, was at any point ever telling the truth – this despite the Marion Jones’s “confession”.

Later in the course of this series, you’ll read of past stars like Edwin Moses, Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram wishing upon a star that Conte would simply go away and stop convoluting the vision folks have of athletics.

Their attempts will be in vain, however.

Conte was cooperative and more than willing to talk when presented search warrant in 2003 by the IRS investigating money laundering suspicions conducted by BALCO. He provided information and access to files and records, as well as performance-enhancing drugs to two special agents in the absence of a formal search warrant – providing consent when the discovery find would be adverse to him.

Conte comes across as a person who is on the top of a hill enjoying a view over two sides of the mountain – one downhill side which has been traversed by athletes ahead of the game, and the uphill side being painfully climbed by those in pursuit of those individuals.

Conte has stated – in personal depositions and in writing – he has provided performance-enhancing drugs to certain athletes, Marion Jones and Gatlin included. Both Marion Jones and Gatlin had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, with Marion Jones’s “B”-sample test rendering inaccurate the “positive” A-test, and with her own confession thwarting her attempts to stave off Conte’s consistent allegations.

A deposition is generally a pre-trial discovery tool used by both prosecutors and defence teams to ascertain truth and the opposing party’s strategy. Typically, District Attorney Ryan’s office would have disclosed to Conte’s legal team materials and information they as prosecutors of the case possessed or that investigative agencies (the I.R.S. in this case) would have been in possession of – materials such as names and addresses of persons they had intended to call to trial; statements of all the defendants in Conte’s case; germane evidence which had been seized or obtained as part of the investigation of the subsequent 42 charges brought up against Conte; and any other permissible evidences.

Marion Jones’s homes were searched two days following Conte’s BALCO premises served search warrant, though it is not known if any evidence was seized in her homes.[5]

Marion Jones – as are other US citizens – was protected under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbade the authorities from an unreasonable invasion of her privacy. What the law did grant the authorities, however, was a warrant which was issued due to the belief established by factual information provided to them by Conte and the information they collected by means of evidences at the storage locker that there was probable cause to search her premises.

It is believed and understood that the reviewing magistrate used practical common sense given the totality of circumstances set forth in the affidavit and decided to issue a non-exploratory warrant for that search. The search warrant served also subjected certain items named in the affidavit to search and seizure as they were stated under oath before the magistrate to constitute evidence or the identity of a person who was participating in an offence – which could have been Conte.

Marion Jones had no charges raised against her at that point.

Conte is also attributed as stating he provided performance-enhancing drugs, specifically “the clear”, to other athletes apart from Marion Jones including baseball players Barry Bonds, Garry Sheffield and Jason Giambi – a claim which Conte rebuffed, stating his “confession” regarding those specific non-track athletes was fabricated.

What Conte has made known was that he provided both “the clear” and “the cream” to athletes to build athletic performance, and avoid test detection.

Conte maintains that he devised a plan for – and provided specific drugs to – Marion Jones and Kelli White, with White affirming those allegations publicly in Senate hearings and in her Grand Jury testimony, and also to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Conte has, in addition to specifically naming White and Marion Jones, stated that he gradually started to incorporate “the clear” into the programs of Chryste Gaines and also Alvin and Calvin Harrison, who began the program the summer before the 2000 Olympics. Alvin Harrison confirmed steroids use and a direct relationship with Conte in an ESPN interview 2006-August-9.

Moreover, Conte stated he provided Tim Montgomery, who was Marion Jones training partner, “the clear” to begin his drugs schedule when they met in Sydney during the Olympics.

Montgomery confirmed that claim – under oath, within his rights and unforced – during Grand Jury testimony.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Montgomery told the Grand Jury that “the clear” caused him tightness, and had a negative side effect of retaining unneeded water.

My results (in races) was horrible, a lot of people's was. A lot of people ran terrible on it.

Kelli White cramped up and do awful on it,” he continued. She was feeling the same side effects (and) Charlie Francis felt the same thing. He was like, they had another kid up there that was taking 'the clear' and he ran terrible.”[6]

An important implication to immediately recognise, which will be discussed later, is that Tim Montgomery had knowledge of who Charlie Francis was, and understood to the best of his knowledge what Francis was involved with, namely a littered past as a drugs proponent.

One other important fact here is that Montgomery, testifying before a group of 16-23 people meeting in secret outside of the defence – a group which could consider hearsay evidence and offer immunity[7], implicates White. The White-Montgomery connection, also to be further discussed in more detail, is a key ingredient to understanding Montgomery’s inability to conceal information from non-essential people outside his circle of influence.

Among other condemning statements Conte has made, on record, is that he has reprimanded Marion Jones for being careless, after she – according to Conte – once left a cartridge injector in a hotel room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Conte states to ESPN The Magazine – the source of this information – that Marion Jones had again forgotten the cartridge injector a few days later in Eugene, OR.

After the first time she forgot it, she said she would put it in a sneaker and lean the sneaker against the refrigerator so she wouldn't forget it. Then she forgot the shoe. That injector had a thousand dollars' worth of growth hormone in it!

I couldn't afford to have Marion leave a growth-hormone injector in a room registered in her name.”[8]

Has Marion Jones ever provided a detailed rebuttal to this information stated by Conte? No, she has never done so, and following her confession, she still has not made such a claim to rebut his statement. And, having provided recognition to the world that she was a cheater during her career during this time, she would have had one more lie from which to unsuccessfully separate herself.

Has she ever provided a documented piece of evidence which would suggest that she was not in the same location as Conte on either occasion?

No. Again, it would have buried her further into the deception.

Has it been established on either side which dates these alleged instances were to have occurred?

Would Marion Jones have produced factual verification that she did not have a room registered to her in the time-frame had Conte provided the date for the said occurrence? Had either Marion Jones or her counsel hired a licensed private investigator to review the factual data provided in statements made by Conte, or did they rely on the results of Marion Jones’s polygraph test – which she has proven can be beat – to prove her innocence in part and in whole?


[1] The Times Online, “Up and running once more… the man who allowed cheats…” 2007-05-16 [2] ABC News, “BALCO Chief on Sports Doping Scandal”, 2004-12-03 [3] The Times Online, “Up and running once more… the man who allowed cheats…” 2007-05-16 [4] Associated Press, reprinted in ESPN.com “Statute of limitations may not apply”, 2004-12-08 [5] The Guardian, “Get Set for Biggest Dope Scandal Ever,” 2003-10-17 [6] The San Francisco Chronicle, “‘The clear’ reportedly sickened some athletes”, 2004-06-28 [7] Faculty.ncwc.edu, “Jury Duties and Instructions” [8] ESPN The Magazine, “Last Laugh”, 2004-12-20

Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 35

Story by Eric.

This is the 35th submission in a long series about Marion Jones, a former elite sprinter who won honour and earned endorsements, fame and fortune by method of fraud. The 30th series introduced Trevor Graham into the picture.

Marion Jones began her professional athletics career in March 1997 with a working relationship with Trevor Graham – a coach she’d later turn over as a conspirator to defraud the sport and ruin her career, and a man who would be sentenced to 12 months in home-confinement for lying to U.S. Federal authorities concerning the BALCO affair.

Though this section of the series may be a general history lesson for some of you, the information contained in this series is imperative to the sum of the whole.

Having stated earlier in this series that attorneys on Marion Jones’s side would attempt to create reasonable doubt for you to make a clear distinction of guilt, Graham’s attorneys – one of whom has also represented clients in criminal cases involving mail, wire, computer and Medicare fraud, trade-secret theft, and export, antitrust and money laundering violations – understandably, did the same during the Novitzky cross-examination during the trial’s second day.

Here’s what happened:

Novitzky, during his discussion of the raid on the BALCO lab, showed the jury a file with Graham’s name on it seized during the December 2003 raid which he led on Conte’s business premises. Novitzky was asked about the word “beam” scribbled in hand-written notes in the folder.

“Beans,” according to the New York Daily News, is a slang word used to describe oral testosterone pills.

Keane, a former United States Attorney who has 20 years of criminal and civil practice and chairs his firm’s White Collar Crime Practice Group, stated that the word “beans” could have been “beam,” which he reminded the jury is a type of device used to time athletes. Keane then pulled up on a monitor the other jottings scribbled on the page, each which in fact, had been scribbled “beam” – a material fact referring to three different timing-system companies using “beams” to mark the start or finish of a run when an athlete crosses the laser device.

Though not a consequential shift in jury opinion, it did create an early vibe of the government not having paid close attention to information it purported linked Graham to Conte.

Heredia also took the stand for the first time on Tuesday afternoon 2008-May-20, telling the story of how he grew up in Mexico and played sports – including throwing the discus. Heredia, speaking about 45 minutes into his testimony, stated that he had met Graham in December 1996 – a fact which Graham had denied, stating only that he had only a phone conversation with Heredia.

Heredia produced six photographs which showed him and Graham together along with Randall Evans and Alvis Whitted in Texas from Christmas 1996, with Heredia stating that the three people stayed with Heredia in his apartment and crossed over the Mexico border to obtain illegal drugs and even worked out on a local track in Laredo.

Heredia stated on record during his first day of trial that he provided Tim Montgomery, Raymon Clay, Whitted, Randall Evans and Antonio Pettigrew illegal drugs either directly or through Graham, with Pettigrew receiving EPO through overnight express packages sent to him. Heredia stated that Graham had phoned in orders for performance-enhancing drugs as often as four times per week.

Pettigrew, according to Federal Express shipping records entered into evidence, received drugs from Heredia from 1997-July to 2001-July.

Pettigrew, whose personal best of 44,21 was run during the apparent steroid era (1999) with Graham, was part of the gold medal-winning 4X400 relay team at the 2000 Olympics (2.56,35), and ran the second leg (43,2 split) of the world-record setting team which won the Goodwill Games in 1998 (2.54,20). The IAAF, acting on Pettigrew’s confession of drug use, removed that 4x400m world record from its history books on 2008-August-12.

Pettigrew would have received the drugs following the US National Championships in 1997 – which he won (44,65) if the dates provided are accurate, and he would go on to record 15 sub-45,00 400m times during that four-year time frame.

The 2000 Sydney team, as a result of Heredia’s testimony against Graham and Pettigrew’s confession under oath demonstrates Pettigrew had taken drugs, was stripped of its title as half of the team were doped; Jerome Young, competing on the team, was later found to have been on drugs during that period and also confessed in court of having been under a doping scheme administered by Heredia and tacitly – if not fully – acknowledged by Graham.

Pettigrew won the IAAF World Championships in Tokyo in 1991 (44,57 over Britain’s Roger Black and American teammate Danny Everett).

Pettigrew also ran on the victorious 4x400m teams America put up in Athens, Greece in 1997 (he ran the second leg (43,1 – tied for history’s second-fastest) of the team which ran 2.56,47); in Seville, Spain in 1999 (he ran the second leg (43,9 split) of the team which ran 2.56,45); and finally in Edmonton, Canada in 2001 (he ran the second leg (43,9 split) of the team which ran 2.57,54). Pettigrew also anchored the United States in a close contest for gold (they won silver) in the 1991 World Championships 4x400m (2.57,57).

Pettigrew, following his sworn testimony on the trial’s fourth day on Thursday, 2008-May-22, could potentially lose his honours from 2000 and 2001, as the statute of limitations on drugs cases is eight years. USADA could charge him with a non-analytical positive, much as they did with Tim Montgomery, Chryste Gaines and Michelle Collins. Young and Mitchell, who along with Pettigrew also swore before the court that they took drugs, account for three Olympic gold medals and seven IAAF World Championship gold medals.

Evans, who was also fingered as a direct link to Heredia, had testified before a Grand Jury in the case as you earlier read.

Clay, Whitted, Evans nor Pettigrew ever failed an anti-doping test administered to them during their careers, due in large part to Heredia’s request to have all their blood samples collected to establish their baseline haemoglobin levels to keep them from testing positive.

Marion Jones also underwent similar protocol with Heredia, and he displayed to the court blood test results he’d requested early in 2000 on her to establish her own baseline. Heredia, according to reporters covering the court case – including The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle – advised Marion Jones to begin taking EPO in small dosages and gradually increasing the doses; four weeks after the initial test, and, following EPO use, Marion Jones’s haemoglobin levels apparently revealed the same levels of an athlete who had been training at altitude according to Heredia.

The infamous calendar bearing Marion Jones’s name was also shown, with a specific week picked out to demonstrate for the court the cycle of drugs Marion Jones was under, and what the drugs stood for, according to Novitzky.

Regarding Montgomery, Heredia explicitly stated that Graham wanted to “put him on the program, with drugs”, and had made a trip to Mexico with Montgomery in 2001 to purchase performance-enhancing drugs, take private urine tests as well as private blood tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of being clear of the testing protocols in place at the time.

Heredia, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, said he bought the drugs in Mexican pharmacies and then express-mailed them to Graham and his athletes in North Carolina; he received payment by Western Union money or express-mail cash. [1]

Heredia took the stand first on the third day of the trial, stating that he mailed Marion Jones EPO, growth hormone and insulin ahead of the Sydney Olympics, and he then added the names of Garfield Ellenwood, Jerome Young and Dennis Mitchell to the list of names he began testifying about on Tuesday.

Graham then had incriminating evidence played before the court in a recorded conversation between Heredia and himself taped in 2006 by Novitzky and IRS Special Agent Rogers, who was previously named.

Heredia also claimed that he kept in touch with Graham about their progress with Marion Jones, and, four weeks before the Sydney Games, he received a call from Graham stating that Graham was worried about an outbreak of acne on Jones’ body – a point C.J. Hunter also stated had occurred during her drug-taking.

Heredia re-assured Graham that it was unlikely to be an EPO side-effect, and was more likely to be an allergic reaction to an injection; Marion Jones had apparently been afraid of needles.

In cross-examination on the third day, Keane questioned Heredia about his motives in testifying, asking Heredia about his attempts at pursuing a book deal (which this author knows to have been true by my own attempts to help Heredia in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom the past two years through a third party) and whether or not he had spoken to journalists about the case before its commencement.

The fourth day of testimony created a Catch-22 for Pettigrew, as he was called to witness for the government against Graham. Heredia, on the third day, had opened up the door to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that Pettigrew had received shipments from Heredia, with the only uncertainty – and shadow of doubt – being that Heredia stated those shipments and payments to and from Pettigrew were for illegal, performance-enhancing drugs.

Pettigrew’s judgment hour had come, and he’d been left with two choices: Corroborate the story Heredia stated and risk losing his credibility and previous earnings/titles, or deny the story and possibly end up perjuring himself before the court.

Pettigrew chose to take the appropriate steps and confess of his wrongdoing – a fact which, if accepted by the jury as being truthful, would also set a scene for the possibility of Marion Jones’s origin and date-stamp on her drugs-taking.

Pettigrew has confessed to using human growth hormone and EPO during his career, starting in 1997 – the same year Marion Jones arrived back on the scene, before most of his major international gold-medal performances were noted in his career.

Pettigrew testified in court on Thursday that Graham encouraged him to talk to Heredia about steroids.

He scrolled down on his cell phone on the track and gave it [Heredia’s number] to me,” said Pettigrew. [2]

Pettigrew’s testimony, which included cross-examination, was followed by corroborating evidence Jerome Young provided in stating that Heredia helped him procure EPO, and that Graham was fully aware of it, concluding, the drugs “would help me compete”.

Glenwood Ellenwood and Dennis Mitchell followed with testimony stating that Graham had been aware of their doping activities, with Mitchell stating that Graham twice injected Mitchell with human growth hormone.

Mitchell stated that Graham told him, that, in order to run 9,8 seconds in the 100m dash – the standard at the time of his drug-taking, “you need to do these things [take drugs]”.

Mitchell ultimately ended up running 9,91 seconds for the 100m at the 1991 IAAF World Championships in Tokyo – a personal best time he would equal five years later in Milan, and completed his career with three IAAF World Championships 4x100m gold medals (1991, 1993, 2001), as well as a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Mitchell also won a bronze in the 100m dash at the 1992 Olympics.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s account of the fourth day, Mitchell stated under oath that Graham advised him, “Memo can get you anything you need.” [3]

Mitchell, who testified he worked with Graham for a few months in 1997 and in 1998, did not break 10,00 during either of those seasons, and was banned in 1998 for elevated testosterone levels – a fact he states had nothing to do with Graham.

No more athletes were to testify on behalf of the prosecution, with the defense waiting until Tuesday, 2008-May-27 – the day the trial was to resume following a scheduled break and a national holiday – to call its witnesses.

So what really happened of substance that first week before everyone went on break, Graham’s team could devise a counter option to fend off the personal accounts made by athletes who stated they were there, were specifically in the know, and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Graham was in on the whole thing, too?

Heredia stated he’d committed a “no-no”. He’d broken laws of the United States of America concerning drug trafficking. He’d doped certain athletes. He’d helped others fly under the radar and collect – steal – fame and fortune in the form of five medals hanging around their neck in Sydney, Australia. He spoke out for the very first time about the deep well of speculation circling about for four years that he had had previous interactions with Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and C.J. Hunter.

His testimony was followed by specific accounts by athletes who confessed of cheating – and one who lied to authorities when initially asked about his involvement in the component of this tricky puzzle followed testimony by the man who stated he made plans for Graham’s camp, himself.

Graham sat quietly in black suits each of the first four days in a courtroom over which Judge Susan Illston was presiding and holding order, and watched calmly as the accusations piled up on top of each other, the accounts became more real, and his opportunity at any further denial quickly fading with each word spoken by men who’d stood with their hands on a bible and swore to avoid prison by telling their stories just like they occurred in their fullness and with nothing omitted.

Keane, whose internet site states that he has represented clients facing a broad range of criminal and civil enforcement investigations and cases, was also left to help Graham consider and determine the best option available to him to either diminish Heredia’s believability as a witness to the United States, or to simply allow the case to be called solely on the evidences provided by men whose actions were wrong and will cost other people medals and possible prize money.

Put another way, Keane gave Graham the opportunity to either attempt to discredit Heredia as a witness and prove that the evidences gathered and presented against Graham were either false or improper, or to allow the 12-person jury to decide Graham’s fate based on the sum of the whole of what cheaters and law-breaking individuals had said before them under oath.

Nevertheless, their course of action would be to create reasonable doubt to believe that the information which was shared with the court was of value considering the source(s) of that information.


[1] San Francisco Chronicle, “Steroids dealer recounts showing Graham ropes,” 2008-05-21
[2] New York Daily News, ”Sports I-Team Live Blog: USA vs. Trevor Graham (Day 4)”, 2008-05-22
[3] San Francisco Chronicle, ”Sprinters testify against coach in S.F. trial,” 2008-05-23


Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 34

Story by Eric.

This is the 34th submission in a long series about Marion Jones, a former elite sprinter who won honour and earned endorsements, fame and fortune by method of fraud. The 30th series introduced Trevor Graham into the picture.

Marion Jones began her professional athletics career in March 1997 with a working relationship with Trevor Graham – a coach she’d later turn over as a conspirator to defraud the sport and ruin her career, and a man who would be sentenced to 12 months in home-confinement for lying to U.S. Federal authorities concerning the BALCO affair.

Though this section of the series may be a general history lesson for some of you, the information contained in this series is imperative to the sum of the whole.

Trevor Graham has in his coaching career at Sprint Capitol produced and lost the top sprinters in the world, and he’s kept his promise of continuing to do that. Thus far in his tumultuous career he’s had 15 athletes (including a paralympian) climb up – and fall down – the ladder into a pool of resignation or banishment, with Marion Jones the latest of the lot.

Graham appeared to continue doing what he does best – pump out a very high percentage of world elites caught in doping scandals (some of whom turn from one event to another and find immediate success) under his watch – while remaining completely oblivious to what is occurring.

Crawford and Barber cut ties with Graham in 2006, and more will follow suit now that he stands at the mercy of the court to decide on his fate.

Graham issued a statement in the second week of August 2006 reporting through his attorneys that he had been administered a polygraph test by a “nationally respected polygraph examiner” which proved Graham had not been involved in providing his athletes with performance-enhancing drugs, according to The New York Times.[1] He also refuted the Grand Jury testimony made by Heredia, who stated he had provided Graham with steroids, EPO and human growth hormones.

Marion Jones, however, who stated she had also passed polygraph tests in the past which were purported to have been administered to have demonstrated innocence or guilt in drugs matters, was found to be a fraud – despite the purported success with the test.

Graham was under the gun after the 2004 USA Olympic Trials, with speculation surrounding the BALCO affair stirring about.

In what should have been saved for a Marion Jones solicitor’s response, Graham’s attorneys stated in a telephone interview 2004-July-12 with The New York Times that “the success that Trevor's runners had this past weekend only confirms that he has not been involved in anything improper or illegal.”

Really, folks - one of these comprehensive, all-encompassing sweeps... one which Collins seemed to have turned the cards on: “I did know it was wrong,” she said. “I was encouraged by my coach to do that, but I knew it was wrong. I had a mindset where I really did believe that was the only way I was going to make it. I was told all my other competitors were doing it. I thought it was my only ticket.”[2]

Collins’s admission of guilt above coincides with an e-mail exchange she had with Conte whereby she permitted clear and concise language to evidence her use of performance-enhancing drugs. She did not state, however, who the secondary source of supply was in this e-mail confiscated by the IRS investigators.

Collins switched coaches to George Williams, the USA Men’s Coach for the 2004 Olympics, following her time with Trevor Graham. Williams was also the head men's track coach at the 1999 IAAF World Championships in Seville, Spain, and was an assistant coach at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Graham faced an insurmountable battle to prove his innocence to a degree sufficient to the members of the jury hearing his case – having decided on taking his case through to fruition. Michelle Collins was re-instated to the sport by the IAAF on 2008-May-14, with USADA’s CEO, Travis Tygart, stating in a telephone interview with Sports Illustrated that, “We are pleased that the IAAF gave full consideration to her case and in our mind made an appropriate decision, based on her willingness to provide truthful cooperation and assistance.”[3]

Whether Graham turns left or right, attempts to dodge or dislodge, he has sullied the sport beyond common recognition – one to a point whereby everyone who has ever stepped foot to train in Raleigh, North Carolina, will automatically have now been assumed to have been on a drugs programme and have been a cheat.

Memo Can Get You Anything You Need.

In this court drama for the track ages, one which Graham stated would call into question much which occurred behind closed doors by athletes long removed from the sport, the question was could Graham step forward and tell the “truth” to a degree acceptable to the court, or would he continue to deny the claims other people have made against him – athletes who have had their careers ruined by poor choices involving drug use they maintain was governed by Graham?

The United States had determined to bring seven elite athletes to testify against Graham, people including Antonio Pettigrew and Dennis Mitchell, who each will claim that Graham had full knowledge of their drug use.

Pettigrew, who had been identified as a previous performance-enhancing drug user, testified that he “obtained and used illegal and banned performance-enhancing drugs from Heredia with the defendant's knowledge,” according to court records.

Graham, like Marion Jones, has now lost out on the opportunity to be associated with athletics for the rest of his natural life. Whether he wanted to save any remaining face and admit to his wrongdoing remained to be seen, and, thus far, the air is stifling black. Nothing leading up to this trial would indicate that Graham would act in a manner and fashion unlike his previous one of tip-toeing between the line of good and the one which could have landed him in a jail cell for a specific period of time - which left him completely unpredictable when he was to stand in the line of fire before the court.

Graham never did take that stand. Or the Fifth. In fact, his defence team pulled the plug conspicuously early in the game.

Why did Graham participate in such illegal endeavours which were highly volatile to the flock of athletes under his watch?

The blame isn’t to be put specifically on Graham, per se, as athletes who had decided at one point in time to better themselves through the aid of drugs illegal and undetectable to the testing procedures meant to combat such efforts – and thwart any such attempts – made conscious efforts to take the pain with the gain, and to suffer the consequences thereof.

However, Graham wanted to be last man standing in this war between sprint camps and associates to those, and he’s gotten his wish: he stayed out of federal prison and turned the pages on Conte's associates and shut Conte down.

The Trial against Graham began at 09.30 on Monday, 2008-May-19 in the U.S. District Court, Northern California District, with Susan Illston presiding. It was to last seven days over two weeks, with a break on Friday, 2008-May-22 followed by a holiday on Monday, 2008-May-26.

Jury selection took four hours to dwindle down 70 potential persons down to nine women and five men who would ultimately have Graham’s fate in their hands. At odds were Graham’s claims of innocence and the U.S. government’s insistence that Graham lied about the following items when he was twice interviewed and provided immunity in exchange for truthful testimony:

Graham was interviewed regarding the extent and scope of his involvement with BALCO; Graham’s knowledge of specific athletes’ involvement with BALCO; Graham’s knowledge of whether specific athletes linked to BALCO used performance-enhancing drugs; and Graham’s relationship to Angel Heredia, who was known to the Grand Jury, who had provided Graham’s athletes – some of whom were associated with BALCO – with performance-enhancing drugs.

The government claimed that the information provided by Graham was of utmost importance to their investigation insofar as the witness statements pertained to the identification of individuals involved in the distribution, possession and use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in and through BALCO.

The government based its indictment on Heredia’s testimony, namely that Heredia met Graham for the first time in approximately 1996 or 1997; that, following that meeting, Graham referred numerous athletes coached by Graham to Heredia to obtain illegal, performance-enhancing drugs from Heredia; that, thereafter, Graham and Heredia maintained a business relationship and had both personal contact and had spoken on the telephone for years following that initial meeting; and, finally, that Heredia provided Graham’s athletes – some of whom were associated with BALCO – and Graham, himself, performance-enhancing drugs between the initial meeting sometime in 1996 and the date of Graham’s interview.

Graham was charged with three counts of making false statements to the government, those being:

That on or about 2004-June-8, Graham, in a matter concerning the criminal investigation of BALCO, stated he had never set up any of his athletes with drugs obtained by Heredia, when, in fact, he knew he obtained performance-enhancing drugs from Heredia and thereafter provided them to his athletes or referred athletes he was coaching – some of whom had ties to BALCO – directly to Heredia to obtain performance-enhancing drugs.

Also on or about 2004-June-8, Graham, stated he had never met Heredia in person, when, in fact, according to the indictment, he had met Heredia in person prior to the interview.

And, finally, the third count against Graham was initiated and based on Graham stating to the IRS investigators during the same interview that Graham last contacted Heredia via a phone call in approximately 1997, when, in fact, according to the indictment, Graham knew that he had numerous contacts with Heredia between 1997 and the interview on or about 2004-June-8.

These charges are all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2), which reads:




Section 1001: Statements or entries generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully-

(1) Falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) Makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) Makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

William Keane, Graham’s defence attorney, stated during the first day’s proceedings that the discrepancy found between Graham’s statements against certain items collected and named as fact by the prosecution was that the IRS told Graham they wanted to question him about BALCO and Victor Conte when they requested the interview four years ago. They maintain that the Heredia queries were made at the end of the interview, and Graham, who hadn’t seen it coming, did not have command of specific dates and facts when he “misspoke” to Novitzky.

During the second day’s proceedings, Agent Novitzky stated that the interview with Graham lasted more than three hours, and the questioning – according to The New York Times, reporting on the case – lasted “only a few minutes”, according to Novitzky, because Graham had been “absolute” in his denials about his connection to Heredia.

Nonetheless, Keane stated on the day’s opening proceedings that neither of the misstatements Graham made was a willfully or knowingly false statement germane to the investigation, although the prosecutors maintained that Graham’s misstatements side-tracked among other things their perjury investigation of Marion Jones.

Also at issue on the first-day’s proceedings was the “misstatement” Graham made regarding not having had contact with Heredia since 1997.

Prosecutors stated they had evidence that there were more than 100 records of phone calls between Graham’s telephone and Heredia’s between 1996-2000, or three years after Graham stated he had last had contact with Heredia. Keane told the court that Graham had been in touch with various coaches or athletes who stayed at Heredia’s house in Laredo, but had not had contact with Heredia himself.

FDA Agent Novitzky took the stand during the afternoon session following lunch on the second day of the trial, and reported to the jury his methodology in locating evidences linking Graham to BALCO as well as the evidences which were secured in the forms of Federal Express labels from Conte to Graham, and from “Vince Reed” to Graham – a code name for a package containing illegal, performance-enhancing drugs.

Insofar as Graham was not on trial for drug trafficking or distribution, Judge Susan Illston reminded the jury that much of the BALCO information was hearsay, and should only be used to help guide a jurist in making a connection to Graham.



[1] The New York Times, Graham Says a Polygraph Proves He Was Not Doping”, 2006-08-08 [2] Canadian Press, “Doping days now behind her, sprinter Michelle Collins…,” 2007-05-20 [3] Sports Illustrated, “Collins reinstated by IAAF after 3-year suspension”, 2008-05-14

Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 33

This is the 33rd submission in a long series about Marion Jones, a former elite sprinter who won honour and earned endorsements, fame and fortune by method of fraud. The 30th series introduces Trevor Graham into the picture.

Marion Jones began her professional athletics career in March 1997 with a working relationship with Trevor Graham – a coach she’d later turn over as a conspirator to defraud the sport and ruin her career, and a man who would be sentenced to 12 months in home-confinement for lying to U.S. Federal authorities concerning the BALCO affair.

Though this section of the series may be a general history lesson for some of you, the information contained in this series is imperative to the sum of the whole.

Trevor Graham is neither saint nor saviour in this fight against performance-enhancing drugs. He has, according to Grand Jury testimony, been linked with drugs peddling and deception procedures – with his two biggest fish, Marion Jones and Gatlin – caught in the net. Concerning the syringe, Graham is stated to have discussed his plans for it with his son, T.J. Graham, but not with his wife, Ann, whom the US Federal agents have identified as a “drug detective”.

According to an investigator's report the San Jose Mercury News obtained in 2004-July, Graham asked his son “how he would feel if his opponent on the football field took a drug that could make him stronger” while considering what to do with the syringe.

Victor Conte has gone one further on the syringe issue, stating that Graham, with pressure from HSI coach John Smith, turned in the syringe to keep athletes who were using Conte’s illegal products who were not part of either Sprint Capitol or HSI from competing against Smith’s and Graham’s associates, who, in the long run, appear to have been Maurice Greene on the men’s side (against Tim Montgomery, whom Conte had helped with a world record plan) and Marion Jones (with Chryste Gaines receiving her supply from Conte) among others.

“I don't think Trevor Graham used drugs (on his athletes),” Conte said. “I know he used drugs. I had multiple discussions with him about drugs. I even handed him the drugs sometimes. But that's not what this case is about.”[1]

The USADA acted on these “non-analytical positives”, sending a letter of notice to Graham in November 2007 accusing him of doping his athletes.

According to the Associated Press, evidence in USADA's case against Graham included testimony from athletes – including Marion Jones, as well as information that became public when Federal authorities released details of his indictment, undisclosed sources said. It was also reported that USADA’s timing of the letter came after the indictments, so as not to hinder the federal investigation.

The evidences also included more than 100 telephone conversations – including ones secretly taped – occurred between Graham and Heredia after 1997, when Graham stated he no longer had contact with the drug supplier.

It was Graham who was behind the test tube leak of clear liquid residue from the syringe – the person who had initiated the eventual re-testing of samples collected which showed signs of the drug THG – including Tim Montgomery’s. THG was not previously named on either the WADA or IOC prohibited-substance lists. However, Dr. Catlin was able to scientifically demonstrate that chemically and pharmacologically THG was directly derived from an identified anabolic steroid, gestrinone.

Graham stated under oath on the second day of his trial that he was encouraged to send in the syringe by his son, a local reporter and Smith.

It was Graham who had contacted a prominent track and field official, who, in their turn contacted USADA’s media representative, Rich Wanniner, on 2003-June-04, stating that an informant (Graham) had information regarding the production and distribution of an undetectable performance-enhancing drug. Two days later, a syringe with an unknown substance arrived by express mail at the USADA offices.

Additionally, it was Graham who identified by name several elite American and international track and field athletes taking Conte’s products, though none of them, as per Graham, were in his own camp.

Graham reached Wanniner the following day on his own accord, and informed him that Victor Conte of BALCO Laboratories was producing an undetectable performance-enhancing drug, and distributing it to elite athletes, a drug which athletes were taking without fear of testing positive.

Don Catlin received the THG-filled syringe eight days later, on 2003-June-13. Graham’s whistle-blowing does not conceal his apparent intrinsic involvement with the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs – a fact which the USOC and IAAF have worked on to Graham’s disadvantage.

Unfortunately in this saga, however, that whistle-blowing is what saved Graham from going to prison – an honest effort Judge Illston made very evident to consider when she handed Graham his sentence.

Graham had apparently trimmed his group down to eight following the 2004 Olympics, stating to the News & Observer in November 2004 that having a smaller group would make it easier to ensure all of his athletes were clean – a remark made in response to accusations that members of his team were caught doping in the past. He states he made a vigilant attempt to keep drugs out of his group.

“At least now I can observe more, and I can see what's going on a little bit more,” Graham said. “Before, you got so many people you don't know exactly what's going on. I was trying to cut back the group so I can be more observant and see things that I probably couldn't see before.”[2]

The first flag that is raised here is that Graham has absolutely and unequivocally stated that he is certain that Marion Jones has never taken performance-enhancing drugs, though this has now been contradicted by Marion Jones in public and in court. How would Graham have known this without being at her side at all times and with the number of athletes he had on his team?

His rationale for trimming the track club was to keep a vigilant eye on the goings-on, yet, when the team was larger, he knew with absolutely certainty – beyond any semblance of a doubt – that Marion Jones was clean, but didn’t know about anyone else – including her partner, Montgomery, with whom she lived, practiced and travelled to meets.

What Graham still refused to see was that, despite this pruning, another of his flock of eight would go down for performance-enhancing drugs. Sprinter LaTasha Jenkins – based on an accurate story run in the Chicago Tribune late in August 2006 – was apparently the final Graham-coached athlete to fail a drugs test.[3]

Jenkins was one more charge under his watchful eye – an eye which had more time to see, watch, observe and understand now that his group was trimmed to the bone (LaTasha Colander-Richardson, Debbie Dunn, Suziann Reid and Jamaican runners Julien Dunkley, Gregory Haughton, Ian Weakley and Patrick Jarrett were cut from Graham’s corps).

(Note: Jenkins’s case went to arbitration, where a three person panel ruled the results of Jenkins' positive doping samples collected at a track meet in Belgium in 2006 were compromised because both the Ghent, Belgium and Cologne, Germany labs testing her sample violated international standards that require the tests be run by two different technicians).

Prior to the snipping of athletes from his care, he was coaching Marion Jones back in 1997, and did know what was going on with his group of sprinters; Marion Jones stated that Graham provided her drugs leading up to Sydney, but had she had labelled him “a great technician” earlier – a man she left at the helm of her ship.

Graham was to have helped her perfect timings and placements, the result being faster times, consistency and a perceptible elevation in status among the world’s elite. What he could not deliver on was adequately improving Marion Jones’s long jumping technique, and she apparently left his camp in the winter of 2002 over “different opinions,”[4] in order to work with an obscure coach in Canada named Derek Hansen, based in Vancouver.

The Marion Jones-Trevor Graham combination did succeed in perfecting timings and placements, being consistent and rising from the ashes to the top of the world: Marion Jones was able to time her drug-taking schedules, place her controversies to the side, consistently out-run WADA and USADA officials searching for evidence suggesting drugs usage, and rise to the top of the sports and marketing worlds. They were also able to nearly perfect one other important area critical to her ambitious athletics life: plausible deniability on either end of the coach-athlete relationship until Graham’s trial got underway in 2007.

Graham was able to time his exits from drug testing problems with impeccable precision, place his athletes in the line of fire, consistently turn up near dirty athletes, and rise up another Sprint Capitol athlete when yet another athlete was whisked away for two years in the hole. He was also able to completely deny that Marion Jones ever took drugs, and deny that he provided drugs to her until she, on her own behalf, testified to the contrary, namely that Graham had provided her drugs through what she stated she was told to be “flaxseed oil”.

That timing system began to tick the opposite direction in 2006 with the USOC banning him from each of their training centres – of which he had no immediate usage. A threat to ban Sprint Capitol athletes from the Berlin ISTAF Golden League meeting in September, 2006 followed in succession. No athletes were refused entry to the meet.

Had evidence been found against Graham that he engaged in doping engagements, ESPN.com reported that the IAAF and USADA would initiate disciplinary proceedings against him.

“In order to defend the credibility of our sport, we will engage all our efforts, in co-operation with partners such as USADA, to defend the majority of athletes who are clean, against athletes, coaches, managers or any other support personnel who break our anti-doping rules.”[5]

USATF’s Board of Directors approved in December 2006 a revision to its existing Zero Tolerance plan, creating a system which takes action against coaches and others in a position to influence athletes, including medical personnel and agents.

The new “Registered Coach” system requires all coaches seeking stipends, credentials to national meets and staff positions on national teams to apply for the new designation. Should they have any athletes currently serving a two- or more year ban, or if they, themselves, have been sanctioned as an athlete or as a coach, their “Registered Coach” status will be brought before a review panel.

All athletes at the 2007 USATF Outdoor Championships – under the adaptation of this new programme – were required to state who their coaches were.

USATF will amend its Authorized Athlete Representative Application Form to inquire whether the Agent has previously represented someone who’s been disciplined for doping offenses, whether the Agents, themselves, have ever been disciplined for a doping offense, and demand the Agents not encourage, aid or abet athletes to use PEDs or techniques.

“This expansion of our Zero Tolerance policy provides protection for our athletes, the sport, and coaches who are doing things the right way,” said then-acting USATF CEO Craig A. Masback. “While USADA remains responsible for issuing doping bans, the Board of Directors recognizes how critical it is that we do everything we can to deny USATF benefits to those who may be influencing athletes to use drugs.”[6]

USATF will also decline to promote to the media and/or sponsors athletes who work with ineligible coaches.

According to Sports Illustrated, Hershey was embarrassed in 2006 when it had structured a deal with Gatlin to appear at its Hershey Youth Championships. Gatlin’s support team released news of his positive test just before the meet was held.

Dick Pound, WADA’s former chief, believed the evidence was already sufficient to connect Graham to doping prior to Graham's trial.

“The string of Graham's athletes who have been linked with or disciplined for doping seems to me to be too long to be mere coincidence,” said Dick Pound, a Montreal attorney who is head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, in a statement. “Also, I do not think a coach can be unaware of drug use by his athletes. And, if aware, he did nothing about it or them, he is complicit.”[7]

The key theme in this Graham relationship is mendacity, much as it was on Broadway in 1955.

Folks with high price tags have been involved in bamboozlement, and have boondoggled those who would care to not believe otherwise.

Marion Jones had never taken a defensive stance against Trevor Graham until she realised that his trial would create havoc for her, and Graham had repeatedly come to Marion Jones’s aide when she had had a perceived need of public support. Graham had always claimed that he has had no specific knowledge of any of his other star athletes using drugs, and went so far as to maintain that in a later case Gatlin (who has admitted to the accuracy of an April 2006 test revealing he has elevated testosterone levels without admitting guilt in the matter) was set up in his drugs case by a masseur with a grudge.

Regarding Marion Jones, Graham had stated that people were out to get her, because she was on the top. Marion Jones turned the tables on Graham, and made it appear in her statements to Federal authorities that she was out to get him – a point which Graham’s attorney, William Keane, stated during his opening argument on 2008-May-19 before Judge Illston.

“These prosecution witnesses have biases against Mr. Graham,” Keane told the jury. “They have self-serving agendas that have led them to make false accusations against Mr. Graham.”[8]

Graham, when earlier asked if Colander’s, Gatlin’s and Crawford’s successes were a sufficient replacement for the loss of Marion Jones and Montgomery in 2002, stated: “I wouldn't say that. I want to continue to produce. In Raleigh, we always produce the best sprinters in the world. We're going to continue to do that. It's not like I was out for revenge. As a coach, you lose athletes and gain athletes. You've got to continue to do what you do best.”[9]



[1] San Diego Union Tribune, “Ex-track coach accused of lying to investigators,” 2008-05-19 [2] The News & Observer, “Graham Trims Capitol”, 2004-11-10 [3] Chicago Tribune, “Local sprinter tests positive for doping”, 2006-08-24 [4] The Independent on Sunday, “Jones ditches coach over ‘differing of opinions’”, 2002-12-15 [5] ESPN.com, “IAAF also investigating Gatlin’s coach Graham”, 2006-08-10 [6] USATF News release 2006-12-07 [7] The News & Observer, “Athletes’ ties to doping put their coach in exile”, 2006-08-06 [8] San Francisco Chronicle, “Jones, Montgomery led officials to former coach Graham”, 2008-05-19 [9] The New York Times, “Spotlight on Graham at Olympic Trials”, 2004-07-13


Why You Shouldn't Believe Marion Jones: Vol. 32

Story by Eric.

This is the 32nd in a long series about Marion Jones, a former elite sprinter who won honour and earned endorsements, fame and fortune by method of fraud. The 30th series introduces Trevor Graham into the picture.

Marion Jones began her professional athletics career in March 1997 with a working relationship with Trevor Graham – a coach she’d later turn over as a conspirator to defraud the sport and ruin her career, and a man who would spend 12 months in home-confinement for lying to U.S. Federal authorities concerning the BALCO affair.

This is a continuation from part 31, the introduction of Graham into the Marion Jones equation. Though this section of the series may be a general history lesson for some of you, the information contained in this series is imperative to the sum of the whole.

Notwithstanding any – and all – of Trevor Graham's denials of having received performance-enhancing drugs or other illegal products directly or indirectly, two of those individuals coached and mentored by Trevor Graham – Marion Jones and Gatlin, the most prominent ones to date – are a part of several from that camp who have tested positive, or are under extremely close scrutiny.

Those athletes are:
  • Michelle Collins: Banned for eight years – later reduced to four years (and reinstated by the IAAF on 2008-May-14) – by a panel of members of American Arbitration Association and the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport. However, Collins was found to have used EPO, THG and a testosterone cream based on evidence collected in the BALCO investigation and presented to CAS. She reluctantly conceded her guilt after a fierce word battle with USADA. Collins surrendered her first-place finish in the 200m at the 2003 USA Indoor Championships, and also her 100m victory at the 2003 USA Outdoor Championships.

  • Justin Gatlin: Proposed eight-year ban for second doping offence after testing positive for testosterone during Kansas Relays in April 2006. First offence (2001-June 16-17) was for a banned substance (an amphetamine) found in medication – a ban the IAAF reduced. Gatlin did, however, surrender his victories in the 100m, 200m and 110m hurdles at the USA Junior Championships where the positive test was discovered. Gatlin’s legal team working on “special circumstance” clause to prove Gatlin had drugs in his body without his knowledge.

  • Alvin Harrison: accepted a four-year ban for drug violations, admitting to USADA accusations of him having used testosterone, THG, HGH and erythropoietin (EPO) between 2001-June-1 and 2004-October-18. He surrendered all his competitive results for this period, but not before stating that his attorney would file a lawsuit against USATF which upheld cheater Jerome Young’s doping appeal until it was overturned by CAS in June 2004.

  • Calvin Harrison: Handed a two-year suspension by USADA for a second positive modafinil test, and was stripped of his 2nd-place finish in the 400m at the 2003 USA Track & Field Championships (2003-June-21). The first was a result of pseudo ephedrine usage as a junior athlete. Modafinil was used to decrease fatigue and enhance mental alertness and reaction times.

  • C.J. Hunter: Banned for two years in 2001 after his announced retirement in 2000. Failed four tests for nandrolone in the summer leading up to the Sydney Olympics.

  • Patrick Jarrett: Banned two years in 2001 after testing positive for Stanozolol at his national championships.

  • LaTasha Jenkins: Tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid nandrolone. Faced a two-year ban. A three-person North American arbitration panel ruled against USADA on a technicality, exonerating Jenkins due to both European labs (Ghent, Belgium and Cologne, Germany) which conducted the sample tests violated international requirements that the tests be run by two different technicians. WADA filed an appeal on the case to CAS on 2008-February-19, which it later dropped in April 2008.

  • Marion Jones A/B: Accused of taking EPO based on an “A”-sample test conducted in June, 2006. “B”-sample findings exonerated Marion Jones based on the discrepancy between the “A”- and “B”-samples.

  • Marion Jones: Confessed of having taken drugs under Graham’s watch, with Graham having provided her drugs without her knowledge starting in September 2000.

  • Dennis Mitchell: Suspended two years by a three-member IAAF panel which had ruled that a test of Mitchell’s urine had proved he was taking banned steroids. A United States panel had cleared him of the same charge.

  • Tim Montgomery: Banned for two years without a positive test based on information released by the U.S. Senate to USADA, whereby he told the grand jury that Victor Conte gave him weekly doses of THG in 2001. He testified that he used the banned substance for eight months, part of the information of which was corroborated by information White provided in testimony during the BALCO investigation. Banned from 2005-June-6 to 2007-June-6 and was stripped of his world-record (9,88 seconds).

  • Jerome Young: Banned for lifetime after a positive test for EPO in 2004-July-23 at a meeting in Paris. The EPO incident is not known to be related to BALCO. Young had been exonerated by the USATF Appeals Panel allowing Young to compete in the Sydney Olympics after Young had a positive test for nandrolone (1999 USA Outdoor Championships) overturned by the results of a negative test six days later, and negative tests 14 days before the positive. CAS overturned the ruling and Young surrendered all results from 1999-June-26 to 2001-June-25.

Of those athletes and others not previously publicly ensnared in the BALCO files, the United States government called as potential witnesses the following:

  • Antonio Pettigrew: Pettigrew was to testify that he was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham and that Graham had encouraged him to take illegal and banned performance-enhancing drugs and referred him to Heredia to obtain those drugs. Pettigrew is to have obtained and used illegal and banned performance-enhancing drugs from Heredia with Graham’s knowledge, and he continued to compete with Graham as his coach while using the illegal drugs.

  • Jerome Young: He is to have testified that he was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham and that he obtained erythropoietin (EPO) from Graham. He is also to have stated that Graham told him he was getting the EPO from Heredia.

  • Duane Ross: He is to have testified that he was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham. Graham is to have advised him to take testosterone and introduced him Heredia over the phone.

  • Garfield Ellenwood: He is to have testified that he was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham and that Graham assisted him in obtaining an illegal and banned performance-enhancing drug from Heredia.

  • Michelle Collins: She was to have testified that she was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham and that she obtained EPO from him. She was to also have witnessed that Graham was knowledgeable about EPO, and that he possessed EPO at his home. Judge Illston had determined that Collins didn’t have more than peripheral information to share about Graham in the case.

  • Calvin Harrison: He was to have testified that he was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham and that Graham both provided him directly with an illegal and banned performance-enhancing drug, i.e. human growth hormone (HGH), and assisted him in obtaining various illegal and banned performance-enhancing drugs, including EPO and HGH, from a third party. He was to have also testified that he heard Graham offer to obtain “growth” for another professional track athlete. He is to have also testified that Graham was very knowledgeable about the drugs. Like Collins, Illston determined that Harrison had only marginal information relative to the charges against Graham.

  • Dennis Mitchell: He is to have testified that he was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham and that Graham placed him in contact with Heredia, who Mitchell already knew. He is to have testified that he thereafter received what was represented to him to be illegal and banned performance-enhancing drugs from Heredia. He is also to have testified that Graham was very knowledgeable about illegal and banned performance-enhancing drugs, that Graham told him he could obtain such drugs for him, and that Graham assisted him taking what was represented to him by the Graham to be HGH by injecting this substance into Mitchell’s body for him.

  • Randall Evans: He is to have testified that he was a professional track and field athlete coached by Graham and that he travelled to Texas with Graham and met Heredia in person. Heredia states that Evans accompanied Graham on a 20-hour car ride to Mexico to meet Heredia.
Performance-enhancing drugs wars – and rumours of those wars – have also been brought up by others connected to Marion Jones and Sprint Capitol – people not named Victor Conte.

According to Graham’s trial attorney, those athletes who were to testify were Graham as a “convenient scapegoat for their past mistakes and their past drug use.”[1]

However, as with any other witness or credible source brought up in this piece, opposition attempted to discredit these witnesses due to falling-outs with Trevor Graham, hence insinuating these people bore with them false witness of the accounts and testimonies by which they have spoken to USA authorities.

Graham’s own son, T.J. Graham, believed his father is the victim of a conspiracy and was being held responsible for the actions of his athletes.

“A lot of those guys, they knew why they were here, but they knew they weren't great athletes,” T.J. Graham says. “They didn't want to work as hard as he was pushing them, so they went outside to get what they needed and it was kind of dumb. All they needed to do was work hard.”[2]

John Burks is a former Graham associate and the team-mate who brought Graham from Farmingdale State University of New York to St. Augustine’s College – where Graham received a walk-on scholarship, and graduated in 1989. Burks graduated a year later, in 1990.

Burks, with no apparent vendetta against either Sprint Capitol or its management – however one who discontinued coaching on financial grounds, has sworn in testimony – under oath – that Sprint Capitol athletes have been openly shielded from drug testing authorities who’ve penetrated the fortress doors by appearing for unannounced testing.

Burks held interviews with The New York Times, stating that he did not have first-hand knowledge of steroid use, but that he knew Heredia and Graham well, and that he believed there was illegal drug use at Sprint Capitol USA. Burks has testified before the Grand Jury on one occasion.

Burks has known Graham since they ran on the track team together at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., and lived together there. Burks was an assistant coach at Sprint Capitol from 1999 to early 2001. Burks also split with Graham over a financial dispute concerning prize earnings owed to him from an elite athlete’s winnings purse.
Burks’ version of his Grand Jury testimony is that he told the Grand Jury that Graham had instructed him to prevent unannounced drug testing at the training track.

“He was away from town with other athletes, and he said don’t let anybody test anybody,” Mr. Burks said.

He recalled athletes dodging the tests when alerted.

“At Sprint Capitol, drug testers would show up, and athletes would run and jump fences and hide,” Mr. Burks said in an interview.[3]

Support for – and defence of – Trevor Graham appears non-existent outside of his immediate staff and family members. Coaches had begun commenting on Graham’s exploits long before meet organisers for the final IAAF Golden League meeting, ISTAF in Berlin, declared a ban on any – and all – Trevor Graham-coached athletes.

“Any coach who has had athletes banned needs to be banned, too,” she [Pat Connolly] says. “Coaches need to take responsibility. They'll say they can't know if their athlete is using drugs. I don't care how dumb they want to play. They know.”[4]

Fish, closely monitoring the Graham movement (or lack thereof), sums up Graham’s fight perfectly in a summer news piece:

If you believe him now, he's a martyr paying the price for doing his part to clean up the sport.

“I think there's a lot of people right now that's sort of pissed off at me, and that includes USA Track and Field,” Graham says. “I think USADA, the IAAF [track's international governing body]. I think the managers and some of the coaches are absolutely just plain pissed off. I think everyone felt as if I brought a disgrace to the sport by actually turning in the syringe. I think they're all pissed off. So I am at the point right now that I'm constantly fighting to prove that my athletes are clean. You just constantly got to fight, man.”

It's a fight he appears to be losing.[5]


[1] San Francisco Chronicle, “Jones, Montgomery led officials to former coach Graham”, 2008-05-19
[2] The News & Observer, “Running from dad’s shadow”, 2007-05-19
[3] The New York Times, “Instigator of Steroids Inquiry May Be a Target”, 2006-07-20

[4] USA Today, “Graham can't outrun questions” 2005-08-07
[5] ESPN.com, “In the middle of a tempest, Trevor Graham stays calm”, 2006-08-09