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Supplier of 'the clear' indicted

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  • Supplier of 'the clear' indicted

    Alleged 'clear' supplier indicted in BALCO case
    Associated Press

    SAN FRANCISCO -- A noted scientist was indicted Thursday for allegedly supplying BALCO with the performance-enhancing drug known as "the clear."

    A federal grand jury accused Patrick Arnold of conspiring with Bay Area Laboratory-Cooperative founder Victor Conte to illegally distribute the once-undetectable substance tetrahydragestrinone.

    Arnold was charged with three counts of illegally distributing performance-enhancing drugs. His attorneys say Arnold is innocent.

    "Patrick Arnold is a respected chemist and researcher in the field of nutritional supplements," attorneys Nanci Clarence and Rick Collins said in a statement. "He is not guilty and will defend these charges vigorously in a court of law, not in the press. He looks forward to his day in court."

    No court appearance has been set, and Arnold has not been taken into custody.

    U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said the indictments mean the government has "taken another important step in the ongoing effort to eliminate the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in sports."

    The indictment of Arnold, 39, comes as prosecutors are taking aim at the alleged suppliers of BALCO. The lab, according to court records, counted dozens of prominent athletes among its clients, including Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Olympic track and field star Marion Jones.

    Two months ago, authorities raided Arnold's laboratory in Champaign, and Arnold's name had surfaced in several court documents in the BALCO scheme.

    Arnold, of Champaign, Ill., was known for introducing the steroid precursor androstenedione to the United States. Nicknamed andro, the chemical came to public attention in 1998 when St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire said he used it when breaking baseball's single-season home run record.

    The indictment said Arnold trafficked in performance-enhancing drugs designed to avoid detection by sporting leagues, including the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

    Conte and Bonds' personal trainer were sentenced to prison time last month for their roles in the BALCO scheme.

    Conte, who masterminded the plan, was sentenced to four months in prison and four months' home confinement after negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal trainer, was sentenced to three months behind bars and three months in home confinement after pleading guilty to money laundering and a steroid distribution charge. Anderson and Bonds have been friends since childhood.

    BALCO vice president James Valente was sentenced to three years' probation and track coach Remi Korchemny is expected to receive probation at his February sentencing.


    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy