BALCO head sentenced

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Victor Conte was sentenced to four months in prison and four months’ home confinement Tuesday for his role as the mastermind in a scheme to provide pro athletes with undetectable banned drugs. Conte, who negotiated a plea deal with federal prosecutors, started the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). The lab, according to court records, counted dozens of prominent athletes among its clients, including baseball’s Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi and Olympic track and field star Marion Jones. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week 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 said. The case prompted pro sports to stiffen steroid policies and thrust performance-enhancing drugs into the spotlight. THG, a steroid uncovered in the investigation, is now banned throughout sports. Conte pleaded guilty in July to money laundering and a steroid distribution charge; dozens of counts were dropped as part of his plea deal. Anderson and Conte, who remain free on bond, are scheduled to surrender to prison authorities Dec. 1. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said she was not thrilled with the plea deals, but accepted them anyway. Illston could have sentenced Conte to a year in prison. She had harsh words for Anderson, calling his behavior criminally and morally wrong. 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 a steroid distribution charge. James Valente, vice president of Burlingame-based BALCO, was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges of steroid distribution. center_img Anderson and his attorney had argued for no prison time. “I’m sorry for my actions,” Anderson told the judge. U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan in San Francisco said Tuesday the July plea deals were spurred in part by weak steroid laws and by the fact that some of the chemicals were not banned at the time. He noted, however, that the prosecution’s fallout was larger than the case itself. “This case is bigger at this point than the defendants who were sentenced today,” Ryan said. “This case galvanized the debate about steroids.” Ryan added that he would “seriously consider” Conte’s help in tracking down illegal performance-enhancing drugs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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