Track and Field coach Graham indicted
Nov 3, 2006, 8:56 GMT
San Francisco, CA - Trevor Graham, a track and field coach of Olympic athletes, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for his role in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) steroid distribution case.
Graham was charged with three counts of making false statements to special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). According to United States Attorney Kevin Ryan, during the criminal investigation, Graham was a witness in determining the ultimate source for illegal performance-enhancing drugs taken by many athletes who were connected with BALCO.
The indictment states that on June 8, 2004, Graham was interviewed by federal agents about his relationship with a source, who provided Graham and the athletes he was coaching, some of whom were associated with BALCO, with illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
The indictment alleges Graham lied to special agents by saying he never arranged for any of his athletes to obtain drugs from the source. The indictment also alleges that Graham got illegal performance-enhancing drugs from the said source and then provided them directly to athletes he was coaching. Graham also allegedly lied that he never met the source in person and, according to the indictment, falsified that he last spoke with the source in 1997.
'The charges allege that Graham intentionally lied to IRS-CI agents who were pursuing the original source of the illegal performance-enhancing drugs taken by many of the athletes tied to BALCO,' Ryan said. 'Today's charges demonstrate this office's ongoing commitment to investigate and prosecute not only those involved in the illegal doping of our nation's athletes, but also those who lie to federal agents involved in a criminal investigation. As made clear today, intentionally making false statements to federal agents in the course of a criminal investigation is a serious federal felony.'
Graham's arraignment is set for November 16 before Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen. He faces 15 years in prison and a fine of $750,000 if convicted on all three counts.
'We can't turn a blind eye to the use of performance enhancing drugs and the money laundering associated with it,' said Diane Carter, IRS-CI assistant special agent in charge. 'When you lie or mislead investigators regarding the use or distribution of illegal steroids, those actions will be aggressively pursued by the IRS as well other law enforcement organizations and the U.S. Attorney's Office.'
Graham operates Sprint Capitol USA, which was formed in 1993, and is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Athletes such as Marion Jones and former 100-meter world record holder Tim Montgomery have all trained under Graham.
Montgomery was charged with using illegal performance-enhancing drugs, by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), even though he did not return a positive drug test. Montgomery was banned for two years. Although Jones had reportedly received banned drugs from BALCO, she was cleared of a separate doping allegation this past summer after reportedly failing one drug test for Erythropoietin (EPO), a banned performance-enhancer.
Graham has also worked with sprinter Justin Gatlin, who in August received an eight-year suspension for testing positive for a prohibited anabolic agent. Gatlin won the gold medal in the 100 meters at the 2004 Olympics.
Several other athletes who have worked with Graham have been banned for illegal substances.
© 2006 The Sports Network