Marion Jones' Coach Faces Indictment in BALCO case

When Trevor Graham sat down for his last in-depth interview in August, the coach of Olympic champions and world record-holders was itching to get it on. He was antsy. He'd grown weary of the rumors and the behind-his-back trash talking.

He spoke of his eagerness to take on the feds. If the government wanted to make a case against him -- and that day, he doubted it did -- Graham boldly predicted he'd win in a court of law.

"You hear stories: 'Trevor is going across the [Mexican] border for [steroids]. Trevor is doing this and that,' " Graham told "Now, the feds already did their homework and found out none of Trevor's athletes have ever been there. Not Trevor Graham. But as long as they keep saying this and trying to push everything this way, the media and everyone else will try to go after Trevor Graham. Why? 'Cause Trevor Graham's athletes continue to run fast and they continue to do well.

"I'm not concerned by any of this. They can look at me. I don't care. If I have something to hide, then that is when I would care. But I don't have anything to hide."

Neither Graham nor his attorney, Joseph Zeszotarski, returned telephone calls Wednesday after the news broke that Graham was expected to be indicted in San Francisco as early as Thursday for obstructing the same federal doping probe he helped spark three years ago.

This latest news follows a report by last Wednesday that Graham's right-hand man at Sprint Capitol, Randall Evans, and former Sprint Capitol runner Antonio Pettigrew had been called before the second BALCO grand jury -- the same body weighing whether to bring charges against San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds. The attorney for Evans, Johnny Gaskins, acknowledged his client was questioned about Graham.

Graham's attorney later suggested Evans offered up nothing potentially damaging to his client. On the eve of his friend's indictment, Evans shed little light on the situation, saying only, "Right now, I just don't want to talk about anything."

The Jamaican-born coach has been hugely successful, having worked with Olympic champions and world record-holders such as Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin. At the same time, his training practices continue to come under scrutiny as at least six athletes from his camp have received suspensions for drug use.

The oddity here is that it was Graham who triggered the BALCO steroids scandal when he anonymously mailed a syringe containing a trace of an undetectable designer drug to the United States Anti-Doping Agency in June 2003. The BALCO investigation led to four criminal convictions, congressional hearings and simmering drug issues in baseball -- not to mention a firestorm surrounding Bonds and his chase of the all-time home run record -- as well as sanctions against 14 track and field athletes.

Now, having patiently waited for the grand jury to return an indictment, USADA is expected to initiate disciplinary action against the former whistle-blower. Track coaches aren't licensed in the United States, so it remains to be seen how tough a stance the agency can take. It is also unclear whether U.S. athletes could be stopped from training with him, but Graham would likely be denied access to college tracks and meets staged in this country.

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