U.S. attorneys stand by indictment of Marion Jones' ex-coach

Updated: July 27, 2007, 9:11 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal prosecutors said Friday that media leaks did not compromise the deliberations of the grand jury that indicted elite track coach Trevor Graham on perjury charges.

Lawyers for Graham, who trained track stars Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin and Tim Montgomery, have asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing widely published reports by The Associated Press saying Graham "was expected to be indicted'' were grounds for dismissal. The reports, issued a day before the indictment was made public, cited two Justice Department officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In court papers filed in federal court, the U.S. attorney's office said the leaks did not influence the grand jury.

"It is undisputed that the comment at issue was made to the media and not before the grand jury,'' prosecutors wrote. "Therefore, the defense cannot show any evidence of any conduct before the grand jury, much less misconduct.''

Graham was charged in November with three counts of making false statements to federal agents. The government said Graham lied in 2004 when he denied distributing steroids or telling his athletes where they could get them.

It was Graham who provided the government with its first evidence in the now four-year-old BALCO steroids probe, mailing a vial of a designer drug called "the clear'' to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Graham initially was granted immunity for his cooperation, but the agreement did not protect him from prosecution for making false statements.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press