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Yankees slugger says 'no big deal'

MIAMI -- New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi is
among the players subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating
a company that prescribes nutritional supplements for elite
athletes.

Giambi, in Miami for Game 3 of the World Series against the
Marlins, said he didn't know much about the investigation into Bay
Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

"I really don't know what it's about," Giambi said. "I'm not worried about it. I didn't do anything wrong. As much as
has been printed, I don't even know if that's accurate."

He added: "I know BALCO but I really don't know much about
it."

Before the second game of the World Series on Sunday, Giambi
told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Uh, yeah, I was," when asked if he had been
subpoenaed in connection with the probe of the Bay Area Laboratory
Co-Operative, or BALCO.

USA Today also said San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds and sprinters Marion Jones and
Tim Montgomery are among the high-profile athletes contacted to
testify.

Giambi said he visited Burlingame, Calif.-based BALCO last fall
before going on a tour of Japan with other major leaguers.

"I just asked about some vitamins and supplements and stuff
like that," Giambi said. "No big deal."

BALCO, whose clients include Bonds and Bill Romanowski, now with the Oakland Raiders, was raided in
early September by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and a San
Mateo County narcotics task force.

Authorities have refused to discuss the case, and the focus of
the grand jury is unclear. Officials with the U.S. Anti-Doping
Agency, however, have said that earlier this year, a coach sent
them a used syringe containing a designer steroid and said he got
the substance from BALCO founder Victor Conte.

Conte, who told The Associated Press in an e-mail that about 40
athletes have been subpoenaed in the case, has said he was not the
source of the substance in the syringe, a steroid called
tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG.

Conte says that BALCO analyzes blood and urine samples from
athletes, and then prescribes supplements to compensate for
deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

Although many of BALCO's star clients have not commented on the
burgeoning case, the agent for U.S. shot put champion Kevin Toth
told The Associated Press that Toth had been subpoenaed, and
sprinter Kelli White told the San Francisco Chronicle that she too
has been called to the grand jury. Testimony before the panel is
expected to begin this week.