Report: Track coach target of grand jury probe

Updated: July 20, 2006, 1:57 AM ET
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press