September 29, 2020

Analysis of Tammy Thomas Verdict

The jury verdict in cyclist Tammy Thomas’ perjury trial is factually and legally inconsistent. Most reports suggest the case was a “slam dunk” by the government with anywhere from strong to overwhelming evidence against Thomas.

The fact that Thomas was acquitted on two perjury charges is very significant. It may not be significant for Thomas, but it is significant in showing that the jury did not understand the law.

Basically, the jury determined that Tammy Thomas did NOT receive “banned or illegal performance-enhancing drugs” (i.e. legally-defined anabolic steroids) from Patrick Arnold. (Count 2)

They also determined that Tammy Thomas did NOT “ever get an anabolic steroid from anybody” (at least “up to the time of March 2002”). (Count 5)

But then they believed she was GUILTY of TAKING STEROIDS. (Count 4)

How did Tammy Thomas take steroids if she didn’t EVER get them from ANYBODY?! [Read more…]

Cyclist Tammy Thomas Convicted of Perjury; Second Career Destroyed

Cyclist Tammy Thomas has been convicted on three counts of making false statements (perjury) and one count of obstruction of justice. She was acquitted of two counts of perjury (“Cyclist convicted of perjury in BALCO case,” April 4).

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Thomas faces a sentence that likely would range from probation to about two or three years in federal prison for the perjury convictions.

Thomas was specifically accused of lying to the grand jury about using steroids and obtaining performance enhancing drugs from Illinois chemist Patrick Arnold, a key Balco figure who pleaded guilty to manufacturing designer steroids and providing them to elite athletes through the now-defunct Peninsula laboratory.

Tammy Thomas already received a lifetime ban from competitive cycling for doping violations several years. This effectively ended her career as a cyclist. The conviction for perjury in the government’s case against Thomas may have effectively ended the pursuit of a second career as an attorney (“Tammy Thomas found guilty of perjury,” April 4).

“I already had one career taken away from me,” she yelled. “Look me in the eye. You can’t do it.”

Thomas then turned to a prosecutor and shouted, “Look me in the eye …. You like to destroy people’s lives.”

 The government has succeeded in its unstated goal of making an example of an athlete using steroids. Is this justice served?

Cyclist Tammy Thomas Awaits Jury Verdict

The jury in cyclist Tammy Thomas’ doping perjury trial did not reach a verdict after the first day of deliberations (“Thomas jury deliberations to continue,” April 3).

Thomas, whose case is the first to go to trial in the five-and-a-half-year Balco investigation, was charged with making false statements to a grand jury in 2003 about substances she is suspected of receiving from Arnold. For the jury to convict Thomas, it must conclude that her statements were false and that they were material to the government’s investigation.

I am certain that Tammy Thomas is anxiously awaiting the verdict. Not only is her freedom in jeopardy but also a future career as an attorney. She has been silent about the case and has not spoken to the media; however, she has been very outspoken in her fashion statements outside the courtroom where she was photographed wearing a San Francisco Giants baseball cap, no doubt in support of other athletes who have been targeted for perjury by this federal investigation. [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…]

Steroid Investigations and Trash Collection

IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitsky testified against cyclist Tammy Thomas at her perjury trial yesterday. Novitsky is a popular (and controversial) figure in the entire steroids in sports investigation. Thus, many observers were interested in his testimony. Reviewing the published accounts of Novitsky’s testimony, I found it particularly interesting how much incriminating evidence federal investigators found in BALCO’s trash.

Novitzky began searching through the trash behind the BALCO offices, learning when the company set garbage out and when it was collected. Each Monday night for a year, he hauled BALCO’s rubbish to a well-lit area nearby and sifted through it, he testified.

He found copies of e-mail messages and copious quantities of empty needle wrappers, he said. The latter led him to a medical-waste company where he found evidence of syringes, vials and performance-enhancing drugs that apparently originated at BALCO.

[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…]