Posted Oct. 19, 2005 – The mastermind behind a scheme to provide pro athletes with undetectable performance-enhancing drugs is headed to prison for money-laundering and distribution.
Victor Conte, the embattled head of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), will spend the next four months in prison and four more months confined at home, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Back in July, Conte pleaded guilty to money laundering and a steroid distribution charge; dozens of counts were dropped under the plea agreement, The Associated Press reported.
The lab, according to court records, counted dozens of prominent athletes among its clients, including Olympic track and field champion Marion Jones, and Major League Baseball's Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi and others. Greg Anderson, Bonds' trainer and friend since childhood, was sentenced to three months behind bars and three months in home confinement after pleading guilty to money laundering and steroid distribution, AP reported.
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The case prompted pro sports to stiffen steroid policies and thrust performance-enhancing drugs into the national spotlight. THG, a once unknown steroid discovered in the investigation, is now banned throughout sports.
Outside the courthouse, Conte read a statement saying he wanted to rid the sporting world of steroids.
''I've decided to direct my knowledge, experience and determination toward making sports more honorable for the athletes and fans,'' Conte told The Miami Hearald.
James Valente, BALCO's vice president, was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges of steroid distribution.
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