Victor Conte on Marion Jones' 'Poor Choices'

But White says she didn't feel she was doing anything unethical when she began taking the drugs. "I felt that there [were] so many people doing it that I would just be like one of the others."

Eventually, White says, she began to have some concerns about taking the drugs. "The acne thing was bad. The shoulders, the face, my voice changed ... I had a period every other week ... It got to be so easy that I was actually disappointed. And it -- the guilt -- was too much then."

Conte says the regimen he and his partners created for White was extraordinarily effective. "I do believe that the program that we developed [for White] was the most sophisticated in the history of the planet Earth."

Mastermind of a 'Collective Dream'

Conte, 53, had an earlier career in music, playing bass with the popular funk band Tower of Power in the late 1970s. In the mid-1980s, Conte bought into the booming sports nutrition market, setting up the now notorious BALCO near San Francisco.

His early work with athlete was completely legal -- and lucrative. He made millions of dollars assessing the nutritional deficiencies of professional athletes and body builders and selling them supplements.

But after learning from Olympic shot-putter Greg Tafralis that supplements coupled with steroids would allow athletes to train harder, build muscle faster, and recover more quickly, Conte added more than nutritional supplements to some of his clients' regimens.

Five years ago, Conte says, a chemist sent him a vial of what has become the holy grail of sports doping -- a steroid called "the clear," because there were no drugs tests that could detect its presence. Conte began giving it to some of his clients.

Conte says he was driven to create these drug regimes for athletes not by money but because of "the challenge." He says he developed a secret plan to use drugs to help track and field star Tim Montgomery break the world record for the 100 meters, which Montgomery did in 2002, nearly a year after he allegedly stopped working with Conte.

"I knew that this was the most coveted of all records ... and gold medals. So we kind of had a collective dream, and I was the mastermind so to speak," Conte said.

Still, Conte tells Bashir he believes Montgomery's world record is legitimate. "When you say legitimate, I believe if it was achieved using the exact same playing field as the previous record, and the previous record, and the previous record, then it is legitimate because you're competing with the same terms and conditions ... I mean, otherwise you'd have to wipe out all the world records."

A lawyer for Montgomery declined to comment on the allegations.

Rampant Drug Use in Pro Sports

Drug use is also widespread in professional baseball and football, according to Conte.

His first National Football League client, he says, was Bill Romanowski of the Oakland Raiders. "Bill pretty much does whatever he chooses to do so. Did I help Bill in certain ways? Yes. Did Bill do many other things in addition to what I would recommend? Yes," Conte tells Bashir.

Conte also says he gave steroids to three of Romanowski's teammates -- Barrett Robbins, Chris Cooper and Dana Stubblefield. All three were fined for drug use.

But Conte claims professional baseball is saddled with the most widespread drug problems.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...