FBI Reportedly Seizes Records at Home of BALCO's Conte
SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 26) - FBI agents raided the home of alleged steroid dealer Victor Conte and seized e-mail and other records Wednesday as part of an investigation of grand jury testimony leaks in a broad sports-doping scandal, according to newspaper reports.
At least a dozen agents raided Conte's San Mateo, Calif., home before 8AM PT, and within four hours seized a computer, cellular phone and lab records belonging to the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News reported on their Web sites, each citing sources they did not identify.
The search comes a month after a series of newspaper and online reports about the 2003 grand jury testimony of San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds, New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, and track star Tim Montgomery. Grand jury testimony is supposed to be secret.
According to the reports, Bonds testified to a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids. Giambi said he injected himself with human growth hormone in 2003 and used steroids for at least three seasons, according to a grand jury transcript reviewed by the Chronicle.
Conte said last month that he distributed performance-enhancing drugs to Montgomery, an Olympic gold medalist.
According to the newspapers, agents were also looking for items involving track coaches Trevor Graham of Raleigh, N.C., and John Smith of Los Angeles. FBI agents were also trying to find records to prove that Conte leaked information to journalists.
Conte and his lawyer, Robert Holley, did not immediately respond to phone calls or e-mails late Wednesday.
Conte is awaiting trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on steroid-conspiracy charges for allegedly distributing illegal drugs to more than 30 baseball, football and track and field stars. Also indicted are Greg Anderson, Bonds' weight trainer; BALCO Vice President James Valente; and Remy Korechemny, a veteran track coach.
Speaking last month on the ABC news show '20/20,' Conte said he distributed banned drugs to numerous sports stars, including track and field great Marion Jones and former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski.
The steroid scandal has implicated so many world-class athletes that President Bush mentioned the it in last year's State of the Union address.
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As long as this has been going on what kind of self-incriminating records would Conte still be in possession of?