Report: Jones received steroids

Montgomery also named in BALCO investigation

Track And Field

April 25, 2004|By SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

SAN FRANCISCO - Marion Jones, American track and field's biggest superstar, and Tim Montgomery, world-record holder in the 100-meter dash, received anabolic steroids from the Burlingame, Calif., nutritional lab at the center of an international doping scandal, government investigators were told.

Victor Conte, owner of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, told investigators that the two Olympic athletes had received banned performance-enhancing substances in exchange for endorsements of a nutritional supplement he marketed, The Chronicle learned.

"The San Francisco Chronicle story is wrong," said Joseph Burton, lawyer for Jones, who has consistently denied using performance-enhancing drugs. "Victor Conte is either lying or when the statement was made it was involuntarily coerced. This is a character assassination of the worst kind."

Montgomery has repeatedly denied steroid use. His agent and a lawyer who has represented him in the past did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

A lawyer for Conte said yesterday the lab owner denies he provided information to the government about any specific athletes receiving steroids.

But a source involved in the case said that after a raid on BALCO last fall, investigators said Conte had told them that Jones and Montgomery received banned substances. A government official familiar with the raid verified the information about Jones, and two other knowledgeable sources said they were told Jones got drugs through Conte, who has been indicted on steroid conspiracy charges.

One of the sources said he was told that information by Greg Anderson, weight trainer for San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds. The source said Anderson confided that Bonds and Jones were receiving the same performance-enhancing substance. Anderson also has been indicted in the alleged sports doping conspiracy.

The allegations about Jones and Montgomery came in a probe that led a San Francisco federal grand jury to indict Conte on charges of running a steroid distribution ring for elite athletes.

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