Testimony in the Tammy Thomas-BALCO perjury trial turned to basic business yesterday. And talked your basic Barry Bonds too. Bonds, Marion Jones, and Jason Giambi received huge bang for their bucks according to testimony.
Patrick Arnold -- who has to know about as much about anabolic steroids as anyone on the planet -- and his ex-girlfriend talked to the jury. Kelcey Dalton confided that Arnold gave his then-undetectable AAS -- the Clear -- to athletes including Marion Jones, CJ Hunter and Barry Bonds. However as adroit as Arnold appeared in synthesizing steroids, he appeared clumsy in business acumen.
Arnold, a chemist, invented some of the steroids at the heart of a drugs and sports scandal in which Thomas is the first person being tried.
Dalton, testifying on the third day of Thomas' trial, said Arnold told her that athletes and trainers were reporting in the early 2000s they would use "really minute doses" of the steroids because doing so would minimize side effects, and "because they were so strong."
Holding her thumb and forefinger three inches apart to represent a small vial, Dalton said such a container would fetch $10-$20. "Marion Jones split it with C.J. Hunter and it lasted six months," Dalton said, referring to the track and field stars later disgraced for doping.
The sums of money Arnold was making were "very low," she said. "I think we should have charged more."
Considering the results that THG produced -- world records in the 100M dash, many Olympic gold medals, single season and career MLB home run records -- these were bargain basement prices.
Previous reports indicated Arnold re-discovered norbolethone (Genabol), a previously Wyeth synthesized AAS. When this drug became detectable he synthesized Tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG
...chemical modification of gestrinone, a drug used in Europe to treat a gynecologic condition. THG also is very closely related to trenbolone, a controlled substance used to bulk up cattle.
Many of the finest people allegedly used THG: Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, CJ Hunter, & Kelli White.
Dalton suggested as much:
During her testimony, Dalton also said she heard Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative founder Victor Conte say he had provided steroids to Jones, imprisoned earlier this month for lying to investigators about doping and her role in a check-fraud scheme; and to home run king Barry Bonds.
(more after the jump)
Thomas contends she didn't really know she was taking an anabolic steroid. Apparently the beard and the chest hair didn't tip her off:
Prosecutors say Thomas lied to a grand jury about what performance-enhancing substances she bought from Arnold, and whether she had ever taken anabolic steroids. She is charged with making false statements to a grand jury and obstructing justice.
Dalton testified Wednesday she believed Thomas knowingly sought what she thought were undetectable steroids from Arnold. But under cross-examination by Thomas attorney Ethan Balogh, Dalton also said she did not believe Thomas thought she was breaking the law, because the substances were not then banned under federal law.
Balogh has argued that Thomas was technically telling the truth to the grand jury when she denied using steroids.
Of course using FDA-unapproved drugs would be illegal. Patrick Arnold, as talented as he is, is not your local Medcap Pharmacy store; you cannot get Blue Cross and Blue Shield to reimburse you for the Clear.
Last point: shouldn't every record ever made by an athlete who even briefly touched THG be wiped off the books? If not, by allowing this taint, the record books are simply a corrupt joke. One may argue that these drugs should be investigated for legal PED use; even with that argument when these athletes abused the drugs as 2000s PEDs, it clearly cheated the rules in effect at that time. Wipe the records, then get on with the dialog of where sports performance enhancement go from here.