Less-known used as lure in BALCO case

Report: U.S. agency offers deals for admitting guilt



NEW YORK - The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is trying to use little fish to hook bigger ones, according to Tribune sources.

The USADA is talking with less-renowned track and field athletes implicated in the BALCO case, hoping to offer a deal for their admissions of drug use that will convince bigger names to react similarly.

A source familiar with the situation said the USADA may announce as early as this week that some athletes have found there is evidence against them so compelling they will accept a deal.

In return for admitting guilt and perhaps providing more evidence, they could be allowed to keep prize money earned during a period when the evidence clearly suggests they were taking performance enhancers.

The USADA will not be able to reduce mandated suspensions for steroid use, the source said, but may be able to negotiate penalties for use of other drugs, including stimulants.

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