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Report: Track coach target of grand jury probe

7/20/2006

NEW YORK -- The federal grand jury investigating Barry Bonds
for perjury and tax evasion is also looking into a prominent track
coach, The New York Times reported.

The Times, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the
investigation, reported on its Web site Wednesday night that a man
who worked with Trevor Graham told the grand jury and investigators
that he supplied performance-enhancing drugs to the coach and many
of his athletes, including Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, C.J.
Hunter and Michelle Collins.

Angel Guillermo Heredia, 31, of Mexico and Laredo, Texas,
provided the grand jury with receipts and other financial records,
e-mail messages, and the results of blood and urine tests of
athletes, the newspaper reported.

Heredia testified that he made a drug plan for Jones, provided
the drugs to her and worked with her in preparation for the 2000
Sydney Olympics, where she won a record five medals.

An attorney for Jones told The Associated Press that his client
denies ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

"Marion has been pretty emphatic and clear that she never used
performance-enhancing substances," Rich Nichols said in a phone
interview. "She has passed a lie-detector test when she answered
those questions. She has taken more than 160 drug tests over the
years and passed all of them. There's nothing else I can say. She's
very clear that never taken any drugs and is a vocal opponent of
drug use."

Graham told federal investigators in 2004 that he never gave any
of his athletes illegal performance-enhancing drugs, the Times
reported. At least six athletes who trained under Graham have
received suspensions for drug use; he has always denied direct
knowledge or involvement.

The Times did not say what Graham was being investigated for,
but said it could be for making false statements or obstructing
justice.

Graham did not respond to e-mail messages seeking comment from
the Times on Wednesday. Lawyers for Heredia and Graham also did not
return multiple telephone calls and e-mail messages from the Times.

A message left early Thursday to the home of an attorney who
represented Graham earlier in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative
case was not immediately returned.

Graham helped set off the BALCO investigation when he
anonymously mailed a syringe containing a previously undetectable
steroid to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in June 2003.

The investigation has led to five criminal convictions,
sanctions against numerous track athletes and cast a cloud over
Bonds as he approaches the major league career record for home
runs.