Court documents released in Jones' doping case


As if logging profits and losses on a ledger, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative kept a multipage document that listed the names of athletes, the doses of performance-enhancing drugs they were taking and the results of urine tests conducted to detect steroids and masking agents, according to court records released Friday.

The records were made public as part of the government's case against former track superstar Marion Jones, who has pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to federal agents. She is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11.

While the existence of the ledger was known, its release gives the public its first chance to see how extensive and organized the business of doping was at BALCO. The ledger has the names of several other athletes redacted, but the documents essentially suggest, chapter and verse, the extent of doping by clients of BALCO.

In Jones' case, the ledger, as well as accompanying calendars, document her use of the steroids norbolethone and tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), as well as the oxygen-boosting drug EPO, human growth hormone and insulin.

The documents indicate her use of the substances in 2000 and 2001, and an accompanying sentencing memorandum says of Jones, "The defendant's use of performance-enhancing drugs encompassed numerous drugs (THG, EPO, Human Growth Hormone) and delivery systems (sublingual drops, subcutaneous injections) over a substantial course of time."

Jones won five medals -- three of them gold -- at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and became one of the world's most famous female athletes. The ledger specifically indicates she used performance-enhancing drugs in the month immediately before the Olympics began, and during the Games.

For years, Jones had vehemently denied her use of performance-enhancing drugs, going so far as to trumpet a lie-detector test she took and to issue a full-page, bold-faced denial in her autobiography.

On Oct. 5, Jones pleaded guilty to one count of lying to investigators about her drug use when she told them in a Nov. 4, 2003, interview that she had never taken the banned drugs, never even seen or ingested the drug in the case known as "the clear," and never received any of those substances from track coach Trevor Graham.

Graham is under indictment for making false statements. He has pleaded not guilty, and his case is still pending.

Jones also pleaded guilty to one count of lying to agents in connection with her role in a check-fraud scheme. The government is recommending a prison sentence up to six-months long.

The International Olympic Committee has stripped Jones of three gold and two bronze medals and barred her from attending next year's Beijing Olympics. And the International Association of Athletics Federation nullified all her results dating back to 2000 and wants her to pay back about $700,000 of her winnings.

The court documents released Friday also indicate some of the cooperation provided by James Valente, the former vice president of BALCO who received probation for his role in the conspiracy case. Valente was called before a grand jury investigating possible false statements by athletes and coaches in the case, including Jones and Barry Bonds.

Valente acknowledged he had created the doping ledger and that it represented "the use of these drugs by these client-athletes, as well as the results of the tests for the presence of anabolic steroids conducted on these client-athletes' urine samples."

Mark Fainaru-Wada and T. J. Quinn are reporters for ESPN. Fainaru-Wada can be reached at markfwespn@gmail.com. Quinn can be reached at tjquinn31@yahoo.com.