November 28, 2014

The Real Reason Why the Barry Bonds Witch-Hunt Was a Waste of Money

If you think the government’s prosecution of Barry Bonds was justified because no on is above the law, perjury is a serious crime, yada, yada, yada, then this article is for you. You are entirely missing the point. The pursuit of Bonds was clearly a witch-hunt. Celebrity athletes who use anabolic steroids were an acceptable target. However, the government could have just as easily targeted an “immoral” behavior other than steroid use…

What if the government targeted prominent Christians and asked them about infidelity under oath? What if they prosecuted those Christians who would inevitably lie to protect their community standing and their families? After all, they did break they law – they committed perjury. Would that have been a good use of taxpayer money?

Why is it any different than the witch-hunt targeting celebrity athletes who use steroids? [Read more…]

Patrick Arnold: Prosecuting Lance Armstrong Doesn’t Change Reality of Doping in Cycling

Patrick Arnold criticizes the government’s prosecution of famous athletes such as Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong in a new article on his website. Patrick is the organic chemist who introduced previously undetectable designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) to the world of competitive sports. He discusses the public apathy towards steroids use in sports, the use of taxpayer money to fund the steroid witch-hunt, and the relevance of the steroid-related doping investigations. Among other things, he states that prosecuting Lance Armstrong doesn’t change the reality of doping in cycling. [Read more…]

Victor Conte BALCO Book Critical of Special Agent Jeff Novitsky

Victor Conte’s autobiographical account of the BALCO steroid scandal will hit bookstores in September 2008 (“BALCO founder Victor Conte has tell-all book ready,” March 30).

Slated for publication in September under the Skyhorse imprint, the book’s working title is “BALCO: The Straight Dope on Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and What We Can Do To Save Sports.” Conte, in conjunction with co-author Nathan Jendrick, promises to share “the dirt, the drugs, the doses, the names, dates and places, and a ‘prescription’ for a brighter future.”

He promises the “complete truth in its honest, unadulterated and raw form” and says he is “ready to tell the world everything.”

[Read more…]

Cyclist Tammy Thomas Will Likely Be Acquitted

After corresponding with sources involved in the Tammy Thomas doping trial and reading reports from the trial, I am convinced that the likelihood of an acquittal is very high. The government’s case against cyclist Tammy Thomas for perjury is surprisingly weak. The government’s case is largely based on the assertion that Tammy Thomas ingested “anabolic steroids” and/or “controlled substances” and/or “banned substances” obtained from chemist Patrick Arnold and she lied about it.

The inconvenient fact is that tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) and norbolethone were NOT legally classified as “anabolic steroids” until the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 was passed; Norbolethone and THG were two of the 26 compounds added to the Controlled Substances Act with this legislation. Consequently, THG and norbolethone were NOT controlled substances until the passage of the legislation. Furthermore, THG and norbolethone were not on the WADA/IOC banned substances list at the time. [Read more…]

HGH Bill Would Increase Costs and Limited Availability of Medical Treatment for Children

Filip Bondy wrote a story today about the likelihood that growth hormone would be more expensive and more difficult to obtain for parents of children with growth-related disorders as a result of a Congressional bill that would reclassify human growth hormone as a controlled substance (“Littlest victims of an HGH bill,” March 17).

Here’s the problem: The proposed legislation would re-classify HGH as a Schedule III drug, increasing penalties for its illegal use and limiting access in several ways. The penalties are fine, the parents agree. Limiting access for growth-challenged kids is the deal breaker.

The Champs, for example, would need to go to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan once every month for a new prescription, which would last 30 days. Currently with each visit, they are able to obtain a three-month supply of HGH, with two refills. They only need to go once every nine months. Meanwhile, their insurance co-pays would triple for the extra doses.

[Read more…]

Cheaters in the Doping Investigation

Much has been made of the lack of integrity in professional sports, most recently in baseball’s Mitchell Report, with revelations of widespread use of anabolic steroids, testosterone, and growth hormone. But few reporters seem to be interested in investigating the alleged improprieties of federal investigators involved in the crusade against doping in sports.

Roger Clemens’ defamation lawsuit against former trainer Brian McNamee vaguely hints at impropriety by federal investigators, including Jeff Novitsky, during their interrogation of McNamee. There is a long trail of alleged investigative misconduct that has followed Jeff Novitsky since the beginning of the BALCO scandal.
[Read more…]

Victor Conte, BALCO and Contextual Ads

If anyone thinks that the federal government, the anti-doping authorities, and the media have made an example out of the person who many consider to be architect of the largest anabolic steroid scandal in sports history, think again.

Victor Conte (owner of BALCO) bought a new silver Bentley Continental GT this year, his SNAC business is bringing in $300,000 a month, and some of his best customers are still major league baseball players.

I’ve recently discussed the role of the media and particularly the contextual internet ads from Google as having a big role in his success. Victor Conte attests to the power of contextual ads in the July 2007 issue of Muscular Development magazine: [Read more…]

Steroid News Stories and Contextual Ads

Google has made millions of dollars from companies selling steroids through Google’s contextual ad service. But Google was assisted by mainstream news outlets like NYTimes.com and CNN.com who displayed the ads offering “steroids for sale.”

Michael Arrington recently commented on this at TechCrunch:

The problem with automated advertising on news sites has always been the placing of inappropriate ads next to serious news issues.

Many news/media websites posted editorials complaining about the dangers of anabolic steroids and the role of the internet in facilitating steroid sales only to provide links for consumers to buy steroids (and receive payment from Google for displaying those links). [Read more…]

Movie About the BALCO Steroid Scandal

HBO Films is planning to make a movie about Barry Bonds and all the characters involved in the BALCO steroid scandal. They recently purchased the rights to the book “Game of Shadows” written by the investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Hollywood is already promoting this as a “Barry Bonds” movie. I think everyone will be overloaded with stories about Bonds, if not already, by the time the movie is released on HBO. How many people will really want to see a movie about Barry Bonds?

Game of Shadows is well-written and interesting book that is about much more than Barry Bonds.  I hope that director Ron Shelton is able to breathe life into movie adaption with an engaging depiction of  the BALCO steroid scandal. I am hopeful as he has had some notable success with sports films: [Read more…]